Facebook and YouTube are notorious for blocking certain content. It can get a person thrown in social media “jail” for a short period of time, too. It’s more than a bit of an inconvenience. However, politicians don’t have to worry about the content guidelines destroying their campaigns. The social media companies have established a workaround strictly for politicians.
In the past, even the front running politicians could have their content banned. Whether they cursed, posted something too violent, or went against some of the other community guidelines, the content would be removed. This led to a significant amount of anger as they felt as though they didn’t have the ability to talk freely to the American people. Now, the social media platforms cannot be accused of playing favorites or taking sides.
Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and plenty of other politicians have been given a free pass to post what they want. Even if it goes against current content guidelines, their content won’t get removed from YouTube or Facebook.
Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, just announced that politicians would have the ability to stay up on the video-sharing website regardless of violations of company standards. This is a similar position that Facebook took this week.
She told those gathered at The Atlantic Festival on Wednesday that political officers are creating information that is important for their constituents to see as well as for global leaders to see. As such, she has chosen to make sure that YouTube keeps the information up so that people have eyes on the content.
Wojcicki went on to explain that news media outlets are going to cover controversial content no matter what. Even if it is taken down, it’s still going to be shared on the news. With YouTube being owned by Google, the idea is to make sure that there is context to what the news outlets are sharing.
A YouTube spokesperson also identified that politicians are not actually treated differently than individual users. Politicians are still required to abide by community guidelines. However, exemptions are granted regarding some political speech. This includes whether the information is documentary, educational, scientific, or artistic in nature.
With this information coming out, it will allow politicians to get more creative with the content that they produce without having to worry about whether YouTube or Facebook is going to pull the information. Further, they won’t have to worry about whether the information is caught by certain filters that would limit what a Republican or Democrat would otherwise be able to post. As long as the politicians stay tasteful with what they are planning to share, there should be no problem with the content staying on the platform.
A number of social media platforms have been under fire in the past few years because of removing content and their review processes. Some content seems to endorse real-world violence or hate-filled views. Further, it has led to people wondering why some posts are taken down while other posts are allowed to stay. More and more politicians are using bullying or violent language throughout their social media posts, yet they are allowed to stay put.
Nick Clegg, the Global Affairs chief at Facebook, told a conference in Washington that content rules of the social network could be broken by political leaders. Wojcicki and YouTube’s decision to do the same came a day later. Twitter addressed earlier in the year that they would not remove content from politicians that violate standards – however, they will label and demote the content so that it is not as visible. This means that some content may not be seen by everyone unless they follow a particular politician. As such, those who want to make sure to
Going back to what a YouTube spokesperson has told news outlets, it isn’t just politicians being given a free pass. Others have the ability to violate the content as long as it is documentary, educational, scientific, or artistic. However, it may require the person posting the content to request a formal inquiry of the content in order to get the free pass.
Free passes aren’t exactly “free” but they are going to be a game-changer so that politicians can’t play the “That’s not fair” card when their content gets banned. Regardless of whether a politician is Republican or Democrat, they’ll have the ability to post and share content that they feel that their constituents need to see. Even if it goes against traditional community standards, it will be given the free pass to ensure that it is visible.