YouTube Jumps into EU Election Interference

May 10th, 2024 6:45 PM

Google-owned YouTube is jumping on the bandwagon of election censorship.

In a May 9 blog post, YouTube detailed its plans to target and censor certain election-related content ahead of the European Union (EU) elections this June. This includes removing content and terminating channels that YouTube considers to be spreading “disinformation” online. “Our global team of reviewers combine with machine learning technology to apply these policies at scale, 24/7,” the platform boasted. YouTube’s blog came soon after the Meta Oversight Board urged all tech companies to engage in election censorship.

YouTube listed various efforts to provide pop-ups and links to EU election information but also included a lengthy description of censorship policies. “We have strict policies against hate speechharassmentincitement to violence, and certain types of elections misinformation,” YouTube bragged. “For example, we remove content that misleads voters on how to vote or encourages interference in the democratic process.”  [Emphasis added].

The platform, indeed, admitted in the new blog that its election interference interest extended beyond its own platform. “Our Intelligence Desk has also been working for months to get ahead of emerging issues and trends that could affect the EU elections, both on and off YouTube,” the platform announced proudly. It also claimed that it is investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to crush free speech even more quickly and efficiently. YouTube boasted that in the fourth quarter of 2023 most allegedly violative content was censored before viewers were ever able to see the content. “[F]or every 10,000 views on YouTube, between 11 and 12 were of content that violated our Community Guidelines,” the platform explained. 

YouTube’s announcement follows a call from the Meta Oversight Board for “basic global platform standards for elections everywhere” and “sufficient resources [dedicated] to moderating content before, during and after elections.” MRC Free Speech America rankedYouTube among the Big Tech censors with the worst instances of crushing free speech in April censoring a video of Independent U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

This latest censorship is simply a continuation of YouTube’s long history of censorship. For instance, the platform removed a Republican National Committee podcast in 2022 featuring Donald Trump calling the 2020 election “rigged.” Could YouTube display the same bias for the 2024 EU elections?

Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube here and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.