“YouTube is facing growing criticism for allowing election misinformation after it decided not to remove or individually fact-check videos that spread unfounded conspiracy theories alleging voter fraud,” reports NBC News: While all internet platforms are struggling to contain the volume of misinformation since voting ended last week — and all have been criticized to some degree by researchers for their handling of the situation — YouTube has staked out a position that is less aggressive than its social media competitors, most notably Facebook and Twitter. YouTube said before the election that it wouldn’t allow videos that encourage “interference in the democratic process,” but now, as state officials are working to certify vote tallies, the company said it wants to give users room for “discussion of election results,” even when that discussion is based on debunked information. Somewhere in between those two policies it has decided to leave up videos challenging Joe Biden’s election, and some have received millions of views. “Is YouTube unable to contend with this material, meaning they lack resources? Or is it a lack of will?” asked Sarah Roberts, co-director of UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry and an associate professor of information studies. “I think one of those is probably more damning than the other, but they both have the same outcome of allowing propaganda material masquerading as news being distributed on their platform at a critical juncture for the American political cycle,” Roberts said… “There’s a good chance YouTube’s handling of this goes in the first sentence of every story about how social networks handled the 2020 election for the next several years,” Casey Newton, a journalist who writes the technology newsletter Platformer, said in a tweet.
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