December 9, 2020, (LifeSiteNews) — YouTube announced on Wednesday it will begin removing videos from its platform that allege widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
The move comes in the wake of what is called the “safe harbor deadline,” the date by which states must have certified election results in order for Congress to accept them.
YouTube stated that “yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.”
YouTube took aim at President Trump, who raised concerns about voter fraud in recent weeks, saying “we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.”
The online media platform said that their “main goal going into the election season was to make sure [they were] connecting people with authoritative information, while also limiting the reach of misinformation and removing harmful content. The work here is ongoing and we wanted to provide an update.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) hit back at the media giant on Twitter, arguing YouTube’s move constitutes an affront against free speech:
.@Google owned @YouTube officially announcing free speech no longer allowed. If you have concerns about election integrity, you must sit down and shut up. Repeal Section 230 and break these companies up https://t.co/EfBfCZHzv2
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 9, 2020
Republican Steve Scalise, the House Minority Whip, also weighed in on the matter, saying that it is “[time] for some big changes.”
���� YouTube just announced they'll start taking down videos about 2020 election fraud.
Big Tech wants to silence conversations that might hurt their Democrat friends.
Enough. Time for some big changes.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 9, 2020
OANN’s Jack Posobiec echoed Sen. Hawley’s cry against YouTube stifling free speech, saying “YouTube has declared you are now forbidden from criticizing the government’s handling of the election”
Despite the safe harbor deadline, important legal disputes are still being pursued by the Trump legal team, including a challenge in the Supreme Court.
YouTube, which is part of Google, has a record of censorship that has ramped up in recent months and years, and especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has chaired committee hearings focusing on Big Tech censorship, branded such tech companies’ efforts as the “greatest threat to freedom of speech.”
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in April that “[anything] that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy. And so remove is another really important part of our policy.”
LifeSiteNews has been banned temporarily by YouTube on several occasions, having now had two videos removed within a few weeks of one another, apparently due to a “violation of community guidelines.” On both occasions, the reason for the ban was not based on claims made by LifeSiteNews, but on comments made by other notable figures that were contained within the videos.
In addition to removing the videos, LifeSite is now also unable to publish any new content on the platform for two weeks.
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