TTP Investigation: YouTube Still Awash in False Voter Fraud Claims
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2020
Contact: Michael Clauw, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group that runs the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), released a report revealing that YouTube is failing to remove new videos spreading baseless conspiracies about widespread voter fraud, despite the company’s Dec. 9 announcement that it would take down such content. In the days following the announcement, TTP easily found examples of new videos spreading disinformation on YouTube, often racking up thousands of views.
TTP found examples of videos purporting virous mistruths about the election. One example, clearly titled “IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE OF FRAUD…” was viewed over 44,000 times in six days. Another video, titled “Media Keeps LYING About Voter Fraud, Group Finds REAL Evidence Of Illegal Ballots And Is In Court,” generated more than 96,000 views in five days.
Even more, one video contains an advertisement for the channel’s merchandise, which comes with a note reading, “The channel and YouTube may receive compensation from purchases in the links below.” This implies that YouTube may actually be profiting from the voter fraud misinformation that it promised to remove. Another notable aspect of the recent policy change was that it came with a promise to creators that the platform would not begin using account “strikes” to punish users who violate the policy until after the Presidential Inauguration on January 21. Effectively, this delay in enforcement temporarily shields purposeful offenders from long term consequences even when they clearly violate the policy
CfA Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said, “If a small team of researchers can find clear violations of YouTube’s own policy before it can, it raises the question of whether YouTube and Google take their own directives seriously. These companies lack either the ability or the desire to properly police their platform for disinformation, and often profit off of the very lies that they claim to oppose.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.