YouTube to warn that 'results may not be final' on Election Day

The YouTube and Netflix app logos are seen on a television screen on March 23, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

YouTube is set to roll out new warnings in hopes of slowing the spread of misinformation about 2020 election results.

The company on Tuesday said that on Election Day, it will "prominently" display a new "information panel" both in search results related to the election and under videos about the election. This panel will "note that election results may not be final and link to Google's election results feature, which will enable you to track election results in real time," YouTube said.

Because mail-in ballots are expected to be used far more widely this year than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have warned that a winner in the presidential race may not be called by news networks on the night of the election.

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Outside of the warning about election results potentially not being final, YouTube also said Tuesday it will continue to remove content that violates its policies against voter suppression, such as videos that falsely claim "that mail-in ballots have been manipulated to change the results of an election," and its "recommendations systems will also keep limiting the spread of harmful election-related misinformation and borderline content," among other steps.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously announced that the platform would be using its voting information center to "help people understand that there is nothing illegitimate about not having a result on election night." And Twitter this week began rolling out new messages on the top of users' news feeds called "pre-bunks" to pre-emptively debunk election misinformation. On Wednesday, NBC News reports Twitter will display a "pre-bunk" addressing "misinformation about the timing of election results."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.