YouTube cracks down on voter misinformation ahead of 2020 election season
If you get your political news from YouTube, then there is a pretty good chance that what you see in the late up to this year's US presidential election is going to be pretty different to what you saw in 2016.
That's because YouTube has announced that it is cracking dow on deep fakes and vodomous information, all in a bid to stop the spread of fake news.
News on its platform.
YouTube spelled out its policies just ahead of the Iowa caucuses, the first major contest in the primary season ahead of this year's presidential election.
And the message YouTube doesn't want manipulated media and disinformation about voting anywhere near its platform.
That includes videos that have been technically manipulated to mislead users.
Things like deep fakes.
YouTube says these aren't just clips taken out of context, but rather content that's been doctored and which might cause serious harm, like a video that makes it appear that a government official is dead.
They're also cracking down on misinformation designed to confuse people about how to vote, as well as who's eligible to run in an election.
So according to YouTube, that includes claims that a candidate is not eligible to hold office based on false information about citizenship status.
So birther conspiracy videos, yeah, YouTube doesn't want you.
Finally, YouTube is also targeting the kind of garden variety deception that it always has been.
That includes channels trying to impersonate people and channel's trying to artificially boost things like likes, views and comments.
Now based on new policies, YouTube says it's being working for a number of years to make the site a more reliable source for news And a better platform for healthy political debate.
Importantly, YouTube says it will implement these policies regardless of the videos political standpoint.
Now that's important, not only for healthy political debate, but just like Like Facebook and Twitter, Google, which owns YouTube has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in political discourse.
The world hasn't forgotten the 2016 election when Russian agents used YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to actively spread misinformation and sow discord among voters.
But this isn't just about the United States.
Elections in Russia, the protests in Hong Kong.
The choices YouTube makes about what it allows on it's platform can have big consequences.
YouTube says it's working to rise up authoritative news sources in search and it's changed it's recommendation system To limit the spread of misleading videos.
So will this be enough to keep the 2020 presidential election claim?
Well, that might be an unwinnable battle.
If the past is anything to go by then this kind of misinformation these deep fakes they may slip through the cracks.
Either way, it looks like 2020 is shaping up to be a very interesting test for YouTube.
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