YouTube has demonetized a factual video that highlights how Democratic politicians have repeatedly claimed that Donald Trump’s presidency was illegitimate, the video’s publisher said Thursday.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing for his Substack newsletter “TK News,” shared that YouTube said a new video by TK News contributor Matt Orfalea “isn’t suitable for all advertisers” and “as a result, it will continue to run limited or no ads.”
The video shows various news clips, tweets, and headlines in which Democratic Party politicians and media personalities call the Trump presidency illegitimate or question the results of the 2016 presidential election. It features former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and many other prominent Democrats.
“He’s an illegitimate president,” Clinton is quoted saying on at least two separate occasions, referring to Trump. She and others including Jean-Pierre also claimed the 2016 election was “stolen” by Trump.
YouTube election misinformation policies prohibit users from posting “misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm” and “content interfering with democratic processes.” The platform prohibits videos that advance “false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in certain past certified national elections” as well as “content that claims that the certified results of those elections were false.”
The nearly five-minute video covers Democrats falsely claiming that Russia “hacked” the election, advancing the evidence-free claim that Russia interfered with voter rolls, threatening to challenge or overturn the election results, and asserting that Trump must have cheated to win.
Taibbi wrote that Orfalea was told his video was demonetized before it was even published to his YouTube channel.
“I’d like to thank YouTube for making our point The material in this video does not promote the idea that any election was stolen or illegitimate. On the contrary, it shows a great mass of comments from Democratic partisans and pundits who themselves make that claim, about the 2016 election,” Taibbi said.
He observed that those comments from Democrats “were not censored or suppressed when made the first time around.”
“However, the decision to assemble these materials in one place, inviting audiences to consider their meaning, apparently crosses a line,” Taibbi wrote. “Now we know: you can deny election results on a platform like YouTube as much as you want, you can even promise disruption, but drawing attention to such behavior angers the algorithm. It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of the double-standard in content moderation.”
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