Elections misinformation policies

Elections Misinformation Policy: YouTube Community Guidelines

Certain types of misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm are not allowed on YouTube. This includes certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like certain types of technically manipulated content, and content interfering with democratic processes.

If you find content that violates this policy, report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you've found multiple videos or comments from a single channel that you would like to report, you can report the channel.

What these policies mean for you

If you're posting content

Don’t post elections-related content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below.

  • Voter suppression: Content aiming to mislead voters about the time, place, means, or eligibility requirements for voting, or false claims that could materially discourage voting.
  • Candidate eligibility: Content that advances false claims related to the technical eligibility requirements for current political candidates and sitting elected government officials to serve in office. Eligibility requirements considered are based on applicable national law, and include age, citizenship, or vital status.
  • Incitement to interfere with democratic processes: Content encouraging others to interfere with democratic processes. This includes obstructing or interrupting voting procedures.
  • Distribution of hacked materials: Content that contains hacked info, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes.
  • Election integrity: Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of select past national elections, after final election results are officially certified. This currently applies to:
    • Any past U.S. Presidential election
    • The 2021 German federal election

Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list.

Examples

The following types of content are not allowed on YouTube. This isn't a complete list.

Voter suppression
  • Telling viewers they can vote through inaccurate methods like texting their vote to a particular number.
  • Giving made up voter eligibility requirements like saying that a particular election is only open to voters over 50 years old.
  • Telling viewers an incorrect voting date.
  • Claiming that a voter’s  political party affiliation is visible on a vote-by-mail envelope.
  • False claims that non-citizen voting has determined the outcome of past elections.
Candidate eligibility
  • Claims that a candidate or sitting government official is not eligible to hold office based on false info about the age required to hold office in that country/region.
  • Claims that a candidate or sitting government official is not eligible to hold office based on false info about citizenship status requirements to hold office in that country/region.
  • Claims that a candidate or sitting government official is ineligible for office based on false claims that they’re deceased, not old enough or otherwise do not meet eligibility requirements.
Incitement to interfere with democratic processes
  • Telling viewers to create long voting lines with the purpose of making it harder for others to vote.
  • Telling viewers to hack government websites to delay the release of elections results.
Distribution of hacked materials

The following types of content are not allowed on YouTube. This isn't a complete list.

  • Videos that contain hacked info about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election.
Election integrity
  • Claims that a candidate only won a swing state in the U.S. 2020 presidential election due to voting machine glitches that changed votes.
  • Claims that dead people voted in numbers that changed the outcome of the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
  • Claims that fake ballots were dumped to give one candidate enough votes to win a state in a past U.S. presidential election.
  • Content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, error, or glitches changed the outcome of the German parliamentary (Bundestag) elections, delegitimizes the formation of the new government or the election and appointment of the next German Chancellor.
     

We may allow content that violates the election integrity policy noted on this page if the content includes additional context in the video, audio, title, or description. This is not a free pass to promote misinformation. Additional context may include countervailing views, or if the purpose of the content is to condemn, dispute, or satirize misinformation that violates our policies.

Remember these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think it might violate these policies.

What happens if content violates this policy

If your content violates this policy, we’ll remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we’ll issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

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