YouTube: No ‘deepfakes’ or ‘birther’ videos in 2020 election

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FILE – This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad. YouTube is making clear there will be no “birtherism” on its platform during this year’s U.S. presidential election. Also banned: Election-related “deepfake” videos and anything that aims to mislead viewers about voting procedures and how to participate in the 2020 census. The Google-owned video service clarified its rules ahead of the Iowa caucuses Monday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(AP)- YouTube makes it clear that there will be no “birtherism” on its platform during this year’s U.S. presidential election. The Google-owned video service is 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.

Neither of these policies is new but YouTube clarified its rules ahead of the Iowa caucuses Monday in an apparent attempt to ensure that it is working to prevent the spread of election-related misinformation on its service. The company is mostly reiterating guidelines that it has been putting in place since the last presidential election in 2016.

Google said Monday that it will remove any videos that advance false claims about whether political candidates and elected officials are eligible to serve in office. That had been policy before, but wasn’t made explicit.

YouTube said it will also crack down on any attempts to artificially increase the number of views, likes, and comments on videos. It changed its systems for recommending what videos users watch last year in a push to curb harmful misinformation.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 4, 2020)

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