Two days before the election, YouTube notified its content creators of an update to its policy on election misinformation. The e-mail available at heise online deals in particular with the outcome of the elections and the following content. The “Election Integrity Guideline” will therefore apply as soon as the final result has been officially established.
According to the new policy, YouTube will remove all content with false claims about the election result. This includes the dissemination of false information about cases of fraud, errors or mishaps that would have influenced the outcome of the Bundestag election. Likewise, false statements about the formation of a new government and the appointment of the next chancellor lead to the deletion of the content or even the blocking of the channel.
YouTube’s General Election Policy
The “Election Integrity Guideline” has been sent out by YouTube in addition to the guidelines on misinformation about elections. In general, misleading and technically manipulated content that hinders democratic processes may not be published on Google’s video platform. These include false statements that lead to electoral obstruction and prevent potential voters from voting, that misrepresent the eligibility of political candidates, who question the legality of elections and election results, as well as the dissemination of illegally acquired content relating to the election and calls to disrupt democratic ones Processes.
The general guideline for voting is valid for all previous US presidential elections and the federal election in Germany in 2021. The election guidelines are treated in the same way as all other community guidelines. If the first offense occurs, the post will be removed and informed by email, a repeated offense will result in a warning and three warnings will result in cancellation of the channel.
In the case of the new guideline, however, YouTube makes an exception and spares channels for the next 30 days. The channel operators therefore do not run the risk of receiving a warning if the new requirements are violated – the content will, however, be deleted. Google wants to give YouTubers time to familiarize themselves with the new rules.
Google’s “digital toolbox”
In August, Google announced that it would improve access to credible and relevant information for democratic voting. Representatives from Google Germany presented the “digital toolbox”.