US elections

YouTube channels livestream fake US election results for profit – report

YouTube channels were found to have been posting a still image showing fake election results with a 'LIVE NOW' graphic flashing on the top right corner

According to the Insider news site, 8 of the top 20 videos in YouTube’s search results for “LIVE 2020 Presidential Election Results” were graphics showing fake results, with the YouTube channels seeking to make a profit from ads on their streams.

Four of the channels were verified and one of them had around 1.4 million subscribers. Fake results also showed up when Insider used the search terms “Presidential Election Results” and “Election Results.” This means that, despite efforts from tech platforms to stay vigilant during the US elections, disinformation continued to be distributed.

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FALSE: YouTube livestream of 2020 U.S. presidential election results

FALSE: YouTube livestream of 2020 U.S. presidential election results

YouTube later reported having taken down the fake election result livestream that was spreading after Insider notified the video streaming platform.

The channels broadcasting the fake results were found to have been “hip-hop and music-related channels.”

One of the channels were called Seven Hip-Hop which had 650,000 subscribers, and described itself as “a community hip-hop channel that works closely with labels and independent artists.” About 26,000 people watched the fake election results livestream. The most watched video on the channel, according to Insider, is a video for a 2Pac song with 380 million views.

The fake election livestream video was just a still image with a “LIVE NOW” graphic flashing in the top right corner. Many viewers at the time believed that Democrat candidate Joe Biden was winning.

“After careful review, we are removing livestreams that violate our Community Guidelines. We have established policies prohibiting spam, deceptive practices & scams, and we continue to be vigilant with regards to election-related content in the lead-up and post-election period,” YouTube told Insider in a statement.

YouTube also put banners on the top of search results with links to an accurate counter and a disclaimer saying “Results may not be final. See the latest on Google.”

Facebook and Twitter also dealt with election-related posts, including ones by Donald Trump, which the platforms deemed to be potentially misleading. – Rappler.com

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