Election rigging pledge claim is conspiratorial fantasy

What was Claimed

YouTube has declared it has a moral responsibility to rig the upcoming US election for incumbent president Joe Biden.

Our Verdict

 False. YouTube has made no such statement and the claim originates from a headline on a conspiracy website.

Social media posts are pushing a claim that YouTube has declared that it has a “moral responsibility” to rig this year's US presidential election in favour of Democrat President Joe Biden.

The claim is false. YouTube has made no such statement and posts claiming it has are repeating an unsubstantiated headline published on a conspiracy site.

One version of the claim is in a Facebook post that includes a video compilation of old comments made by President Biden talking about electoral integrity legislation and voter fraud issues, with one grab dating back to before the 2020 US election and another from 2022.

The post features a screenshot of an article published on conspiracy site The People’s Voice with the headline "YouTube declares it has 'moral responsibility' to rig election for Biden."

Text in the post, copied from the article, reads: "According to YouTube's chief product officer, Johanna Voolich, YouTube is laser-focussed on ensuring Trump doesn't set foot in the White House again."

Facebook post
A post uses a screenshot from a conspiracy site to falsely claim YouTube will rig the US election.

"Voolich says YouTube's strategy for helping rig the election for Biden could be summed up as, four R's — namely, YouTube's 'remove, raise, reward, reduce' content approach — that's as per a blog published by YouTube itself."

The article links to this official YouTube blog - an interview with the recently appointed Ms Voolich in which neither President Biden, the US election or YouTube’s “four Rs” policy is mentioned.

The only mention of elections comes at the 6:23 mark when Ms Voolich says: "This year's also interesting because did you know that 40 per cent of the globe is going through elections in 2024. That really hones in on the importance of our responsibility work, making sure that our viewers can get authoritative, and useful information in such important times". 

She makes no mention of the presidential election or any candidate, and does not declare a preference by YouTube or Google.

A separate Facebook post shares much of the same text and sources the claim to an article, published on March 28, 2024 on a website called Reclaim The Net.

That article is headlined "YouTube Says It Has a 'Responsibility' To Manipulate Algorithms Leading Up to the 2024 Election". 

The piece refers to the interview with Ms Voolich but does not provide any evidence to support its claims of electoral interference or algorithm manipulation.

The article speculates on whether YouTube might manipulate content and refers to YouTube’s “four Rs of responsibility” policy for removing harmful content.

YouTube logo
YouTube blogs cited in Facebook claims do not mention the US election or preferring candidates.

The four Rs was covered in a September 2019 YouTube blog post setting out the internet giant’s parameters for removing harmful content. 

There is no mention of President Biden, elections or YouTube's responsibilities regarding election coverage. 

AAP FactCheck has requested a comment from Google, the owner of YouTube.

The Verdict

The claim that YouTube has declared it has a moral responsibility to rig the election for incumbent president Joe Biden is false. 

No such statement has been made by YouTube and social media posts making the claim are referring to an unsubstantiated headline on a conspiracy website as a source. 

The website's story contains no evidence to support the claim.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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