YouTube Adds New Guidelines that May Prevent Calling Out Hate Crime Hoaxes


YouTube appears to have added a new content guideline preventing users from posting videos that criticize potential hate crime hoaxes. The change comes amid media reports suggesting actor Jussie Smollett falsely claimed a group of men assaulted him one night in Chicago.

“Content claiming that specific victims of public violent incidents or their next of kin are actors, or that their experiences are false,” notes a bullet point on YouTube’s page fleshing out the company’s policies on harassment and cyberbullying.

The language is an example of the kind of content the platform does not permit, according to Google.

Screencap of a new policy YouTube implemented (Screencap of YouTube website)

Google, YouTube’s parent company, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that YouTube launched an update Tuesday to the company’s Community Guidelines strike system that gave users a warning of a violation before getting a strike.

'As Wild as It Gets': World No. 1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler Detained by Police Shortly Before PGA Championship Tee Time

The previous system gave users who violated such guidelines a three-strike count without a warning before having the platforms removed.

Google has not responded to TheDCNF’s request for comment about how the newest guideline will be administered in situations where the outcomes are in doubt.

Smollett reported in January that two men assaulted him and yelled, “This is (Make America Great Again) country,” at him.

Various pundits and media-types criticized the actor’s contention, claiming that Smollett’s report contained numerous holes. Law official sources reported the case could be headed to a grand jury sometime this week.

Do you think YouTube is in the wrong here?

Law enforcement is determining if Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to help him stage the attack.

The new guideline might also address instances when people use YouTube’s platform to post videos expressing doubt about the nature of a public shooting.

A recent example of this happened when media provocateur Alex Jones concocted conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. Jones aired an episode on his podcast claiming CNN used several green screens to cover the shooting’s aftermath.

YouTube’s policy shift comes less than a year after TheDCNF reported in February 2018 that the Southern Poverty Law Center assisted the company in policing content on its platform.

The left-wing nonprofit is one of the more than 100 non-governmental organizations and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program, a source with knowledge of the arrangement told TheDCNF at the time.

Daughter of American Who Vanished in 2017 Reveals Devastating Update US Intel Gave Her

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , , , , ,
Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit. Photo credit: @DailyCaller on Twitter