November 5, 2022 | NYT

Non-profit researchers pick up social media platforms’ slack ahead of Election Day in the US

ISD’s Head of Digital Integrity, Jiore Craig, spoke to the New York Times about the state of play on YouTube and how misinformation often goes undetected on the platform due to its video-first nature.

“It’s easier to do research with other forms of content,” such as text found on Facebook or Twitter, Jiore told the NYT. “That puts YouTube in a situation where they get off easier.”

ISD identified dozens of relatively easily found videos on YouTube Shorts that featured ‘ballot-trafficking allegations of “2000 Mules,”’ with no warning labels, or redirects to authoritative election information. Many openly did so too. ISD researchers also looked at rival platforms TikTok and Instagram Reels for similar content. This research was shared with the NYT.

Jiore explained that nonprofits were doing their part in monitoring mis- and disinformation ahead of Election Day in the US. However, social media companies could be doing the same with their own resources.

“Our teams are strung out picking up the slack of the well-resourced entities that could be doing this kind of work,” she said.