How does YouTube remove policy-violating election-related content?
Our Community Guidelines provide clear guidance on content that is not allowed on YouTube. Our policies include election-related content, and we enforce these policies consistently, regardless of who creates it. We use a combination of people and machine learning to detect potentially problematic content at scale, and when we identify such content, human review verifies whether it violates our policies. If it does, the content is removed and is used to train our machines for better coverage in the future.
Here are some examples of where our established deceptive practices policies apply to election-related content:
Content that has been technically manipulated or doctored in a way that misleads users (beyond clips taken out of context) and may pose a serious risk of egregious harm, for example a video that has been technically manipulated to make it appear that a government official is dead.
Content that aims to mislead people about voting or the census processes, like telling viewers an incorrect voting date.
Content that advances false claims related to the technical eligibility requirements for current political candidates and sitting elected officials to serve in office, such as false claims that a candidate is not eligible to hold office based on false information about citizenship status requirements to hold office in that country.
Content that contains hacked information, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes, such as elections and censuses. For example, videos that contain hacked information about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election.
Content encouraging others to interfere with democratic processes, such as obstructing or interrupting voting procedures. For example, telling viewers to create long voting queues with the purpose of making it harder for others to vote.
Additionally, we terminate channels that:
Attempt to impersonate another person or channel, misrepresent their country of origin or conceal their association with a government actor.
Artificially increase the number of views, likes, comments or other metrics, either through the use of automatic systems or by serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers.
As always, we enforce our policies consistently, without regard to a video's political viewpoint.
How does YouTube combat foreign interference in electoral processes?
To combat foreign and domestic coordinated influence operations looking to interfere in electoral processes, we coordinate closely with Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) to identify bad actors and terminate their channels and accounts. Through TAG, we work with other technology companies to share intelligence and best practices, and share threat information with law enforcement.
What YouTube tools and resources are available to civics partners such as government officials, candidates, civics organisations and political creators?
YouTube has a range of tools and resources to help civics partners build their brands and connect with constituents. We've created a series of guides to get them started.
Global getting started guide for civics – Discover a set of best practices and examples for civics partners to build their channel from the ground up, including sections on branding, content planning, content creation and content discovery.
Live streaming guide for civics – Learn how civics partners are able to communicate effectively with their community live on YouTube, including details about hosting live events, press conferences and real-time interactions with audiences, and explore hardware and software options to help them make the most of their live streams.
How does YouTube treat political advertising?
Given the importance of shared trust in the democratic process, we want to improve voters' confidence in the political ads that they may see on our ad platforms. We enforce all of our guidelines consistently and without regard to a video's political viewpoint.
Ads running on YouTube are subject to Google Ads policies, content that lives on our platform is subject to YouTube Community Guidelines and channels that are part of the YouTube Partner Programme are subject to YouTube monetisation policies. So, a video uploaded to a YouTube channel by a creator is subject to our Community Guidelines, but if that same video is promoted as an ad, it's further subject to Google Ad policies.
Google's ads policies govern ads that run on YouTube. We don't allow granular microtargeting (including non-political ads). Verified US political advertisers can only target election ads on age, gender, location (e.g. postcode) and context (e.g. topics). Clear disclosures are required for all election ads to help you better understand who is paying for them – data which is publicly available in our Transparency Report. We use both automated and human reviewers to check that our policies are being followed.
YouTube's Community Guidelines specify what content is allowed and not allowed on YouTube, and we have policies that have been specifically created for elections. Policies that directly relate to elections include:
- Voter suppression
- Suppression of census participation
- False candidate eligibility claims
- Hate and harassment
- Spam, deceptive practices and scams
YouTube's Monetisation policies apply to creators who are part of the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP) to adopt monetisation products to earn money for their channel. Participating channels have to meet eligibility requirements as well as follow our monetisation policies and advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Failure to do so means limited or no ads will appear against content.
How does YouTube treat ads with political content in different parts of the world?
Political creators interested in becoming verified to run ads with political content will need to learn more about political advertising requirements in your country.