YouTube said it will now “stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections.” The change in the elections misinformation policy started on Friday, with the company stressing the importance of open discussion and debate.

“When we craft our policies, we always keep two goals in mind: protecting our community, and providing a home for open discussion and debate,” YouTube explained in its recent blog. “These goals are sometimes in tension with each other, and there is perhaps no area where striking a balance is more complex than political speech. 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.”

The policy was introduced in 2020 to support the states certifying the 2020 election results. However, the company admitted that while the policy effectively handled 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 change came as the 2024 election nears, but YouTube said that other parts of its elections misinformation policy wouldn’t be altered. As such, the video-sharing platform stressed that it would still prohibit content that could mislead or discourage votes from voting. Moreover, it promised to help users “see content from authoritative sources prominently in search and recommendations” when searching for election-related content.

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