YouTube 'reckless' to stop policing false claims on election fraud -Biden campaign

FILE PHOTO: The YouTube app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden's re-election campaign said on Tuesday that a decision by Alphabet Inc's YouTube to stop policing false claims about fraud in the 2020 race is "reckless" and could lead to violence.

"YouTube's reckless and irresponsible decision will invite further democratic decay and potential violence, and we urge them to reconsider this policy," Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz said in a statement.

YouTube said on Friday the platform would stop removing content that might have spread false claims related to U.S. presidential elections in 2020 and before.

The platform said that while removing the content did curb "some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech."

Biden's opponent, former President Donald Trump, has falsely claimed that the election was marred by widespread fraud. Trump supporters attempted to contest the result in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Munoz noted that YouTube's policy change did "not erase" the fact that Biden fairly won the 2020 presidential election and said that social media companies had played a role in spreading lies in 2020.

Biden, a Democrat, is running for re-election in 2024, and Trump, a Republican, is seeking his party's nomination to take on Biden again.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese, Richard Chang and Tom Hogue)

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