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June 5, 2023

Friday, YouTube (owned by Google) announced that it will immediately stop censoring and removing videos that contain what it considers “misinformation” about the reliability of the 2020 election. They admit that they took down “tens of thousands” of such videos. Wow, how could so many people be so skeptical about the most trustworthy and secure election in history?!

YouTube said that after careful deliberations, they decided that they “will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past U.S. Presidential elections.” Because we all know that NEVER happens! They explained, “…While removing this content does curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm…The ability to openly debate political ideas, even those that are controversial or based on disproven assumptions, is core to a functioning democratic society — especially in the midst of election season.” Wait, you mean being allowed to voice unapproved opinions is part of free speech? Well, blow me down!

Still, their “misinformation policy” will remain, and prohibit content “aiming to mislead voters about the time, place, means, or eligibility requirements for voting” as well as false claims that could “materially discourage voting, including those disputing the validity of voting by mail” and videos that encourage others to interfere with “democratic processes.”

Well, at least it’s a good start on restoring free speech, or rolling back some of the censorship. So for the record: YouTube has decided people still have free speech to criticize election processes, with reasonable exceptions – one of those being to suggest that voting by mail isn’t secure. I’m pretty sure there’s a special exemption for that in the First Amendment if you look hard enough.

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