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Authoritative voting information on YouTube

  • By Leslie Miller
  • VP of Government Affairs & Public Policy, YouTube
  • Sep.24.2020
Ahead of Election Day, YouTube is helping you access authoritative voting-related information.

One of the ways we do this is through our information panels, which provide relevant context alongside content.”

With Election Day less than two months away, we continue our work to provide you with access to helpful, authoritative information on YouTube, including voting-related content. Here is an overview of our efforts.


YouTube’s Community Guidelines protect the community from harmful content and we enforce these policies consistently, regardless of who expresses it. Our policies prohibit claims that mislead voters on how to vote or encourage interference in the democratic process. Additionally, we demonetize content with claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.

 

Alongside the consistent enforcement of our policies, we’re continuing to raise up authoritative voices and reduce harmful misinformation. One of the ways we do this is through our information panels, which provide relevant context alongside content. For example, in 2018, we started to show information panels linking to third-party sources around a small number of well-established topics that are subject to misinformation, such as the moon landing or COVID-19. We’re expanding this list of topics to include voting by mail. This means that under videos that discuss voting by mail, you’ll see an information panel directing you to authoritative information from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a bipartisan think tank.


voting

To further connect you with timely, authoritative voting information, searches for 2020 presidential or federal Congressional candidates on YouTube will now show an information panel with information about that candidate above search results. We’re also providing two additional information panels on voter registration and how to vote, in English and Spanish:


  • When you search for specific queries related to voter registration on YouTube, we’ll surface an information panel at the top of the page that directs you to Google’s “how to register to vote” feature. We know election deadlines and requirements vary by state, so no matter where you live, you can use the tool to find information about voter registration in your state—including deadlines, registration options, and an easy way to check the status of your registration.

  • When you search for specific queries on how to vote, we’ll show an information panel that directs you to Google’s “how to vote” feature. This tool provides authoritative information about how you can vote in your state—such as ID requirements, registration and voting deadlines, and guidance for different means of voting, like in person or mail. Google works with non-partisan, third-party data partners, such as Democracy Works, who aggregate official data directly from state and county election administrators, and link to your state government’s official website for more information.


Additionally, for key moments leading up to November 3 — including Election Day itself — we’ll provide you with timely reminders across YouTube and our social handles on how to register, how to vote and where to vote. We’ll also share information from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission about volunteering at the polls, so you can learn more about how to get involved this election season. And as in the past, you’ll be able to easily access live coverage from authoritative sources during key election-related events, such as the debates, election night and inauguration.


In the coming weeks, we’ll also launch two new YouTube Originals to bring you helpful election-related information through innovative and creative ways. “YouChoose 2020” is an interactive voting special that takes you through the key steps in the voting process using the YouTube meme of your choosing — from a cooking tutorial that compares voting to following a recipe, to an auto repair video that breaks down the ‘nuts and bolts’ of voting. “Kid Correspondent” is a four-part election special on YouTube and YouTube Kids that helps parents and families better understand and talk about civic engagement and the democratic process, such as how to use a decision tree to make tough decisions. 


As we approach November 3, we’re working hard to make YouTube a more reliable source for news and information, as well as an open platform for healthy political discourse. We’ll continue to keep you updated on our efforts to support the 2020 U.S. election and others around the world.