YouTube Blocks 2 New Trump Campaign Ads Alleging Election Fraud

YouTube Blocks 2 New Trump Campaign Ads Alleging Election Fraud
A YouTube announcement that the company will immediately start removing content alleging "widespread fraud or errors" in this year's presidential election is displayed on a phone on Dec. 9, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Tom Ozimek

YouTube has removed two new ads from the Trump campaign, which allege widespread corruption in the 2020 election and call on voters to contact state legislators "to demand a free and fair election."

In a Dec. 11 statement, the Trump campaign announced that it had released two ads, which, in addition to being posted on YouTube, were scheduled to begin running on national cable television starting Dec. 12.

"As evidence of voter fraud and mishandled ballots mounts in battleground states across the country, the Trump Campaign is releasing two new ads titled "The Evidence is Overwhelming—FRAUD!" and "STOP THE STEAL!'" the campaign said.

Clicking the links to the ads takes viewers to YouTube, featuring a black screen with the following message overlaid: "This video has been removed for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines."

Officials at YouTube didn't immediately respond to a query by The Epoch Times about the reason for blocking the ads.

The removal of the ads may relate to new policy released by YouTube on Dec. 9, which indicates that the platform would start to remove content that makes allegations of "widespread fraud or errors" that took place in this year's presidential election. In a statement, the reason YouTube gave for the change is that the Dec. 8 "safe-harbor deadline" for the U.S. presidential election had passed, and that "enough states have certified their election results to determine a president-elect."

The company, which is owned by Google, didn't provide additional context for its new election-related content policy but offered an example, saying, "We will remove videos claiming that a presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors."

The video-sharing platform said it would begin "enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come." The company said news coverage and commentary on these issues "can remain on our site if there’s sufficient education, documentary, scientific, or artistic context."

The Trump campaign said its two ads "inform viewers of the widespread corruption that occurred in the 2020 election, including suitcases of Biden ballots, dead people voting, and money-for-vote schemes, while also encouraging voters to call their legislators to demand a free and fair election."

A poll worker pulls out a box of ballots in Fulton County, Ga., in this video released on Dec. 3, 2020. (Screenshot via NTD)
A poll worker pulls out a box of ballots in Fulton County, Ga., in this video released on Dec. 3, 2020. (Screenshot via NTD)

"President Trump won reelection by a landslide because of his strong handling of the economy, record vaccine delivery, and major foreign policy accomplishments," the Trump campaign said.

"To uphold the sanctity of American democracy and stop the Democrats from stealing the 2020 election, voters must demand that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is discarded."

Both ads are available for viewing on Twitter, with President Donald Trump posting them on his account, although Twitter applied warning labels to them.

The first, called "The Evidence is Overwhelming—FRAUD!", begins with the narrator saying, "America deserved an honest election and this is what they got, suitcases of ballots added in secret in Georgia," as images of Nov. 3 security footage from a polling location in Fulton County highlight what appear to be containers of ballots. The Trump campaign presented the security footage to Georgia lawmakers on Dec. 3 and attorney Rudy Giuliani commented on the footage on Twitter, saying that "the videotape doesn't lie. Fulton County Democrats stole the election. It's now beyond doubt."

State officials, however, have pushed back against the claim that the video shows anything illegal, saying that what has been claimed to be "suitcases" were, in fact, standard containers used to secure ballots and that the ballots in question were opened and prepared for counting earlier that night in full view of observers.

The ad continues with claims of "dead people voting in Wisconsin, a money-for-vote scheme in Nevada, poll watchers denied access in Pennsylvania, faulty ballot drop boxes, and crooks facing felony charges in Michigan," with the latter reference relating to reports that a Southfield City election clerk was arrested in September and charged with six felonies stemming from the Nov. 6, 2018, election.

"The evidence is overwhelming," the video claims, and urges people to contact their state legislators and "demand they fight for honest elections."

The second ad, called "STOP THE STEAL!" begins by touting Trump's accomplishments in the area of jobs creation, the economy, and efforts to surge the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, before noting that, "America rewarded President Trump with over 74 million votes," which the ad notes is more than any previous U.S. president. The ad then says victories in some states suggest a "landslide Trump victory."

"But something happened," the ad says. "Some states rushed out mail-in ballots—a recipe for fraud. Dead people voting. Ballots miraculously appeared. Biden ballots added in the middle of the night."

"It's an outrage," the ad claims. "The American people deserve to know the truth."

It calls on voters to "demand an honest election and demand an honest count" and urges people to contact their legislators.

The ads were released on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit from Texas to challenge the election results in four battleground states, arguing that the Lone Star state lacked the standing to bring the case, prompting members of Trump's legal team to say they're considering filing separate lawsuits to district courts.

The president has a number of ongoing legal challenges in state and federal courts, while several lawsuits filed by third parties and attorney Sidney Powell are also proceeding through the judicial system.

The Epoch Times won’t declare a winner of the 2020 presidential election until all legal challenges are resolved.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.