Senate Democrats ask YouTube CEO to remove election misinformation

Susan Wozicki CEO of YouTube is speaking at the 2019 Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 10, 2019.

Asa subordinates. Voice media

Several Senate Democrats wrote a letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wozicki on Monday evening, stating that they were concerned about electoral misinformation on its platform and demanding its removal.

Amy Klobuchar of Sensor, Minnesota, Gary Peters of Michigan, Mazi Hirono of Hawaii and Robert Menendez of New Jersey wrote letters asking the company if it would commit to removing content that contained inaccurate or misleading information.

The letter underscores the risk of misinformation ahead of two January 5 Senate runoff races in Georgia that will determine which party controls the US Senate. It says that YouTube should “take responsibility” and “immediately stop the spread of misinformation.”

“We write that we express our deep concern about the dissemination of misinformation on its platform during the run-off elections during and immediately after the 2020 elections.” “We urge you to immediately remove all election result misinformation and take aggressive steps to enforce sanctions made by other social media companies about the results of future elections.”

While the letter may not be the result of any physical action, it comes as Google-owned YouTube social media platform has survived criticism around misinformation relative to Twitter and Facebook.

However, in recent weeks, YouTube has faced backlash and national attention after hosting videos that claim President Donald Trump won the presidential election and Democrats are cheating voters, despite the fact that the company The video is accepting “demonstrably false” and “[undermine] Confidence in elections. ”

The company’s answer has been to remove ads and demote videos in the rankings, but it has failed to implement it consistently, resulting in misinformed videos going viral on the Internet.

In response to a letter from Senate Democrats, a YouTube spokesman said that the most popular election videos on the site come from “official news organizations”. The spokesperson also said that it removes videos that violate its policies. But the spokesperson also said that the company allows videos that discuss the election results and counting process.

“Like other companies, we discuss the results of this election and the process of counting votes, and are closely monitoring new developments,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

In their letter, the senators cited the example of a YouTube video claiming evidence of voter fraud in Michigan that had more than 5 million views despite any evidence of such fraud.

“These videos seek to undermine our democracy and doubt the legitimacy of President-elect Biden’s upcoming administration,” the letter said. “Also, because the current president has not committed to a peaceful transition of power, misinformation and manipulated media content on your platform, which can lead to civil unrest.”

The letter asks YouTube what steps the platform is taking to ensure that it does not suppress votes, incite violence or make false claims about ballots. It also asks YouTube to determine the data for the video spreading misinformation as well as the revenue it receives from hosting misinformation of the election result.

The senators asked for answers to questions by 8 December.

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