YouTube deleted a video in which President Trump expressed support for illegal activity and lied about winning the 2020 presidential election, after white nationalist rioters marched on the US Capitol yesterday.
Today, in light of the chaos, YouTube is furthering its attempts to crack down on disinformation by announcing that any channel posting videos that propagate misleading information about the election would receive a’ strike’ instantly.
The first strike against a channel effectively blocks it from YouTube for a week, prohibiting it from uploading any videos, stories, or live events.
1. Due to the disturbing events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have now been certified, starting today *any* channels posting new videos with false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike. https://t.co/aq3AVugzL7
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) January 7, 2021
Usually, YouTube issues a warning to first-time offenders, but in light of yesterday’s events, that practice has been suspended.
The video platform revealed in December that it will delete videos alleging “common fraud or mistakes” during the 2020 election, and the company claims it has now deleted thousands of videos for infringing that policy.
YouTube had a built-in grace period, as it normally would for legislative changes, where material that violated the laws would be deleted without a strike; the grace period was scheduled to expire on the day of the inauguration, 20 January.
However, the decision to shift the date up to today was taken by YouTube.
This comes in the wake of Facebook, at least until inauguration day, barring Trump from its apps. Twitter, meanwhile, removed his account and last night deleted some tweets; he has not yet returned to Twitter as of this writing.
It would appear that Trump’s YouTube account is subject to a one-week ban on uploading new content, considering YouTube’s strike rules.
However, YouTube seems to be trying to bring the genie back in the bottle, just like the acts Facebook and Twitter are taking.
While it is definitely welcome to have stricter compliance on accounts that breach this law, the pace at which disinformation spreads poses a huge challenge that these organizations appear reluctant or unable to really confront.