Election 2020

YouTube Bans Election-Related ‘Deepfakes”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- Google has officially chosen to show more responsibility than Facebook by banning a wide array of fake political content.

YouTube announced this morning that so-called "deepfake" videos that have been fabricated or doctored to mislead the public will be removed as will videos that spread lies about the 2020 census.

The Google-owned video service is also reiterating that it won’t allow election-related “deepfake” videos and anything that aims to mislead viewers about voting procedures and how to participate in the 2020 census. [...]

Its ban on technically manipulated videos of political figures was made apparent last year when YouTube became the first major platform to remove a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the announcement Monday further clarifies that it will take down any election-related videos that are technically altered to mislead people in a way that goes beyond simply taking clips of speech out of context. The company also said it would remove doctored videos that could cause “serious risk of egregious harm” — such as to make it appear that a government official is dead.

Facebook, on the other hand, has decided that fake advertisements and promoted content are just another form of free speech they won't be regulating.

I'm sure the upcoming presidential election will be a fake news bonanza in any case, but watchdogs will have at least some recourse for flagging and removing content form platforms that take at least some responsibility.

YouTube also formally banned birtherism today. Not that it matters in 2020 since all the remaining candidates are white.

  • Christopher Foxx

    From the photo: “I really don’t know if Obama was born in the US….

    … because I don’t know if Hawai’i is a state. I can’t find it on a map. And I have the best maps. If you look all over the map, all the way from the Canadian border to the Mexican one. It’s not there.”

  • muselet

    Google is being responsible. Wow.

    Of course, that’s compared to Facebook, so the bar is set extremely low.

    Still, two somewhat muted cheers for Google.