YouTube Defends Leaving Up Election Misinformation Videos; Trump Backs Off TikTok

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YouTube Runs Defense

YouTube is defending its decision to leave up videos falsely claiming that President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, Business Insider reports. Two days after the election, YouTube said it would allow videos proclaiming false or misleading election results, but that it wouldn’t run adverts on them. The move sparked a beef with Bloomberg journalist Mark Bergen on Twitter, who criticized the video-sharing platform’s “slow” moderation of election videos. Bergen had previously reported about YouTube deciding to leave up videos from cable outlet One America News Network that falsely claimed “Trump won.” The tech company said that the most popular videos about the US election came from “authoritative news organizations,” but didn’t say what it considers authoritative. Meanwhile, in Florida … ProPublica writes that Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters after his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive – and false – claim that Venezuela’s ruling socialists were backing Joe Biden. YouTube showed the ad more than 100,000 times in Florida in the eight days leading up to the election, even after The Associated Press debunked the claim, and after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed opposition to both presidential candidates.The ad illustrates gaps in the policing of misinformation by Google, which owns YouTube.


TikTok has been granted a stay of execution as the Trump Administration has backed off on its effort to ban the popular video-sharing platform. CNBC reports that the Commerce Department said it will abide by an Oct. 30 temporary injunction that prevented the government from effectively shutting down TikTok, which had filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals seeking clarity on its future. According to The Wall Street Journal, the concession comes as the administration’s clampdown has been undermined by a series of legal challenges from the social media app and its allies. TikTok is still seeking clarity around whether or not it can move forward with a 20% minority stake sale to Oracle and Walmart.

On A Winning Stream

In another sign that streaming continues to flex its muscle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Axios reports that almost all of the major entertainment giants reorganized their TV and film divisions last quarter around streaming. Those efforts marked the biggest acknowledgment from legacy entertainment behemoths that streaming is the future. Prior to the pandemic, traditional film and television distribution through cable, satellite and movie theaters was lucrative enough for companies to consider those channels their primary revenue vehicles for at least the next few years. The pandemic wreaked havoc on Disney’s movie studio business, cable networks and its parks and resorts division, but the entertainment giant saw its stock skyrocket last week after it reported a whopping 73.7 million paid Disney Plus subscriber additions in its first year – a number that beat even its own ambitious streaming goals. And AT&T also said it beat its media subscriber goals for last quarter – it now has 38 million HBO and HBO Max subscribers combined, surpassing its year-end target of 36 million.

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