YouTube announced on Thursday that it was making changes to how it will handle channels that make false claims about the 2020 election in the wake of the pro-Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol yesterday.
The website removed a video from President Donald Trump on Wednesday where he referred to his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, got inside, and ransacked offices as “very special” and added, “We love you.”
On Thursday, YouTube said any channel that posts new videos that include false claims will now receive a strike immediately, which prevents it temporarily from uploading videos. Channels that receive three strikes are banned from the website.
The company announced last month that it would remove videos that included false claims about the 2020 election. Now that removal will also come with a strike.
YouTube’s note that new videos would be subjected to the policy indicates that Trump would need to violate the company’s policy three times before he was removed from the platform.
“Due to the disturbing events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have now been certified, starting today * any * channels posting new videos with false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike,” the company tweeted. “Over the last month, we’ve removed thousands of videos which spread misinformation claiming widespread voter fraud changed the result of the 2020 election, including several videos President Trump posted to his channel.”
The company added:
“Channels that receive a strike are temporarily suspended from posting or live streaming. Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube. We apply our policies and penalties consistently, regardless of who uploads it.”
YouTube’s new policy announcement comes as social media companies have taken action against Trump in the wake of the riots at the Capitol. During the chaos, pressure was mounted on the companies to suspend the president’s accounts.
Besides YouTube’s removal of the video, both Facebook and Twitter did the same thing.
Twitter put a 12–hour block on Trump’s account after deleting the video and Facebook also blocked access to Trump’s account for 24 hours before CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the ban would extend “indefinitely” or at least the upcoming two weeks until Inauguration Day.