YouTube Announces New 'Strike' Policy Punishing Channels Posting False Claims

In light of the pro-Trump mob that breached the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as the joint congressional session to certify Electoral College votes clearing the way for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, YouTube has announced a new policy doling out "strikes" to channels posting new videos that violate the platform's policies with "false claims" beginning Thursday.

The video-sharing platform said in a series of tweets Thursday that "due to the disturbing events" of the day before, it would implement the new standards. "Over the last month, we've removed thousands of videos which spread misinformation claiming widespread voter fraud changed the result of the 2020 election, including several videos President Trump posted to his channel," the statement continues.

YouTube did note that while its initial policy to help combat misinformation included a "short grace period" that would not dole out strikes to users scheduled to end Inauguration Day, beginning immediately, the new strike policy would be in place. "Channels that receive a strike are temporarily suspended from posting or live streaming," YouTube's statement continued. "Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube. We apply our policies and penalties consistently, regardless of who uploads it."

YouTube's policy change came hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that President Donald Trump was banned from his account "indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks" through the end of Trump's presidency due to the outgoing leader's attempts to "undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power" and "provoke further violence." Twitter announced Wednesday that Trump would be banned from tweeting for at least 12 hours for violating its policies.

"Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech," Zuckerberg wrote in a statement Thursday. "But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."

He continued, "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

After congressional lawmakers confirmed Biden as the next U.S. president in the early hours of the morning, Trump did promise an "orderly transition on January 20th" in a statement shared to Twitter by Dan Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications.

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"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," Trump vowed in the statement. "I have always said we would continue our... fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

Read More: What Is a YouTube Strike?