YouTube has announced some new additions and changes made to its platform ahead of Election Day, ones that are intended to help users get authoritative information and to prevent meddling with the outcome. Among other things, YouTube has roped in Google’s ‘How To Vote’ feature, which will appear as a prompt when users search for information related to how to vote on YouTube. In addition, and among other things, YouTube is also showing information related to politicians directly on its platform.
When you use YouTube, assuming your search query is in either English or Spanish and you’re located in the US, YouTube will show an information panel above search results for related politicians, including ones at the presidential and federal Congressional levels. These panels provide key details about the politicians within YouTube, helping connect users with the relevant information within the platform itself.
Likewise, YouTube is directing users who search for voter registration and ‘how to vote’ information to related panels that link back to Google’s information cards. These panels provide information on things like how to register to vote in one’s own state, the voting options in the state and their related deadlines, and similar details. Google has also added guidance to help users understand key elements of the process, such as the difference between voting in person and mail-in votes.
Beyond the changes made to YouTube, the company has also announced a couple of originals that will launch soon, both related to the election. One is called ‘YouChoose 2020’ and the other is called ‘Kid Correspondent,’ which is a four-part special that is designed to help families, including kids, understand the democratic process.
Up through Election Day on November 3, YouTube also says that it will provide various reminders to users on both the streaming platform and its related social media accounts related to voting, registering to vote, and finding places to vote. Likewise, YouTube will tap the US Election Assistance Commission to provide information on poll volunteering for those who want to get involved in the process.