Memo: YouTube to Push 'Authoritative' News Sources in Runup to Midterms YouTube. (Sebastian Czapnik/Dreamstime.com)
By Jay Clemons | Friday, 09 September 2022 04:44 PM EDT
YouTube has announced a series of politically enhanced policies with users, in advance of the November midterm elections.
In a memo released by Leslie Miller, vice president of government affairs and public policy, YouTube will aspire to connect people to "authoritative information."
That might entail promoting "prominent" content from national and local news sources, while minimizing the impact of "borderline content."
Miller wrote, "When you search for midterms content on YouTube, our systems are prominently recommending content coming from authoritative national and local news sources like PBS NewsHour, The Wall Street Journal, Univision and local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates."
According to reports, banners will appear on videos pertaining to the election; and the "authoritative sources" — featuring legacy outlets listed above — will be given deference when it comes to local elections or facts about the featured candidates.
In terms of potentially harmful content, or content that violates YouTube's terms and conditions, the website will work to omit these options from consumers altogether, according to the Miller memo.
"This includes misleading voters on how to vote, encouraging interference in the democratic process, inciting violence, or advancing certain types of elections misinformation," writes Miller.
Also, content suggesting "widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, or alleging the election was stolen or rigged" will be removed by YouTube, citing the memo.
Additionally, the memo asserts that YouTube will provide users with tips on spotting "manipulation tactics used to spread misinformation."
YouTube's new rules could garner some pushback from right-leaning patrons of the website.
Last month, YouTube suspended host Steven Crowder's livestream for two weeks, after Kari Lake — the Republican nominee for Arizona's upcoming gubernatorial election, and also an endorsement selection from former President Donald Trump — characterized the Biden administration as an "illegitimate federal government."
What's more, YouTube must also be cognizant of various market challengers.
For example, Rumble.com, which champions free speech on its platform, has experienced a record rate of growth in the last two years, consistently averaging more than 30 million users per month.