It’s 2020, and YouTube is running a legitimate election information campaign meant to keep American voters informed. Because after 2016, Internet giants are unsurprisingly wary of a laissez-faire approach to the U.S. democratic process. The last one didn’t go so well, as some may recall.
To be fair, numerous investigations already suggested YouTube wasn’t exactly the crux of the issue last time around. On a scale from Pokemon GO to Facebook, it placed somewhere in the middle as far as its popularity among misinformation campaigns is concerned. But a lot has changed since then. Lessons were learned, apologies made… oh, and Russia accused YouTube of election meddling.
But most importantly, YouTube is no longer content with pretending criminals can’t pay for advertising. And cynicism aside, it actually appears to be approaching the November presidential elections fairly prepared. Cue the aforementioned election information campaign that’s already live stateside (and might also show up to American users abroad).
YouTube’s election information campaign confirms no one forgot about 2016
For starters, eligible users can expect helpful prompts offering personalized, location-relevant voting information. Covering everything from how to register to vote to actual polling locations. Which covers the need-to-know basis. Well, assuming you managed to stop buying into YouTube conspiracy theories. Those were a pretty big thing last time around. We are yet to reach a number of social media bans issued to Alex Jones that would undo that sad state of affairs.
Outside from a strong focus on “authorative information,” YouTube is also cracking down on misinformation and other potential forms of election meddling. The extent of that initiative is currently unclear, though the company will likely report back after November 3rd. Google’s subsidiary is paying special attention to all misinformation efforts concerning mail-in voting. Well, all save for on-the-nose concern trolling coming from the White House.
Anyway, you can also expect YouTube to act as sort of news network in the run up to the elections. In other words: there will be highlights, voting reminders, and polling reports to consume. Because YouTube is still in the business of keeping you inside its ecosystem for as long as possible, of course. All election content will be available in both English and Spanish, the company confirmed. This particular move is also not without precedent. In fact, as the likes of Facebook and Twitter already demonstrated, it’s pretty much the norm as far as Internet companies actively pursuing election transparency are concerned.