Stories Chosen For You
YouTube has reversed a policy that previously banned false claims about the 2020 election, according to a statement on the site.
The video sharing platform now says that the policy, which was enacted in December 2020, is a violation of constitutionally protected speech.
“Two years, tens of thousands of video removals, and one election cycle later, we recognized it was time to reevaluate the effects of this policy in today's changed landscape,” YouTube said in a statement on its website. The move was first reported by Forbes.
“In the current environment, we find that while removing this content does curb some misinformation, it could also have the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm," the statement continued.
"With that in mind, and with 2024 campaigns well underway, we will stop removing content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past US Presidential elections."
As Forbes points out, YouTube's policy change comes as social media companies loosen their restrictions on election misinformation.
In the wake of Donald Trump's 2020 loss, the former president and his allies embarked on a messaging campaign that falsely claimed the election was stolen by rigged voting machines and that Joe Biden was illegitimately elected.
Countering MAGA inroads in NY State has become a 'top priority' for Democrats: report
Because New York State has gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1992, it has a reputation for being reliably blue. Yet parts of Upstate New York lean conservative, and people who voted for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) more than once are quick to point out that New York City doesn't reflect the entire state.
In an article published by Politico on June 2, journalist David Freelander reports on inroads the MAGA movement has been making in New York State.
"No state, except perhaps for the now sunburn-red Florida, bucked the national mood in the midterms quite like New York," Freedlander observes. "And while the GOP always had strength in rural counties upstate, in 2022 the party's gains came largely from the New York City suburbs, especially on Long Island, once a Democratic stronghold that has turned so sharply right that some national Democratic strategists wonder if they should just write off the area entirely."
The reporter adds, "Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader who regularly gets upward of 70 percent of the vote statewide lost both Long Island counties by a combined 15 points, the first time he'd lost either since his first campaign in 1998. (New York Gov. Kathy) Hochul ended up winning reelection by a narrower margin than fellow Democratic governors of states that are usually tougher terrain for Democrats — places like Michigan, Maine and Colorado."
Freelander adds, "The Republican strength has even begun to seep into New York City, where the GOP flipped a handful of state legislative seats in outer Brooklyn and Queens."
In NYC, Democrats were out of the mayor's office for 20 years — first under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, then other Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who served either a Republican or an independent during his years in Gracie Mansion).
But neither of them ran far-right mayoral campaigns. The Republican trend that Freedlander describes is decidedly MAGA.
"Figuring out what happened in New York has become one of the Democratic Party's top priorities as 2024 approaches," Freedlander reports.
"Democrats see the state as key to reclaiming their congressional majority, and as a way to figure out what the next stage of the Trumpist GOP entails. House Majority PAC, an outside group affiliated with House Minority Leader, and Brooklyn's own, Hakeem Jeffries is preparing to spend $45 million in the state next year."
We already knew that the deal struck between the president and the House Republicans, to lift the debt ceiling, was going to place new work requirements on childless adults between the ages of 50 and 54 in return for food stamps.
What we didn’t know is that the legislation changes “work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides cash assistance to households with children. Under the provisions in the bill, states will likely have to require more parents on TANF to work or be in job training,” according to Kery Murakami, a senior reporter for Route Fifty, a news site.
Murakami has the details. They are granular and patchwork. Some states would be free to do more to help needy families. Other states would be free to do less. Either way, one official said, the new requirements don’t “leave a lot of time to be parents. We want them to be able to be parents. We want them to be able to solve the crisis that has brought them in our doors in the first place.”
According to David Dayen, editor of TheAmerican Prospect, food stamps and TANF “became a Republican red line. Both of these programs already have work requirements; they’re being made stricter. For TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or welfare), they appear to be somewhat optional for the states, which means red states will tighten their eligibility.”
During debt-ceiling talks, TANF did not get the press that food stamps got. This is due to those who get help with groceries being in a much larger group than those who get help at state-poverty levels. Some say the deal avoided the severest outcomes. Work requirements on food stamps affect only childless adults. But TANF changes affect plenty of kids. From a broad point of view, things could have been worse. From a particular point of view, they are worse.
So we should remember what Hakeem Jeffries said. During debt-ceiling talks, when word got out that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was bent on forcing the hungry to work, the House minority leader reportedly told a Democratic Party leadership committee that work requirements were a “nonstarter.”
I understand the need for flexibility during negotiations, especially with illiberals who can’t stop won’t stop hating poor people for the fact of their poverty. But evidently work requirements were not a nonstarter. Under Jeffries’ leadership, more Democrats than Republicans voted for the deal.
The problem, I think, was taking McCarthy’s words at face value. He, like other illiberals, said that forcing the poor to work lifts them out of poverty. Liberals were right to say he was wrong. Denying them aid deepens their misery. But one side saying it “works” and the other saying it doesn’t work as intended is variation of gridlock. Remember that gridlock favors rightwing politics.
Debating whether a particular policy does or doesn’t work is a losing debate in the face of illiberals who can’t stop won’t stop hating poor people for the fact of their poverty. Instead of debating illiberals as if they were prepared to stand by their own arguments (they are not), liberals should be alleging – that denying help to the needy is tantamount to punishing them for suffering.
Poverty is not a crime. Let’s stop acting like it is.
Let’s also stop acting like it’s a problem no one can solve.
It’s only unsolvable when debating for and against an anti-poverty policy takes place in a context in which illiberals can’t stop won’t stop hating poor people for their poverty. To get to the details of any policy idea, and to open a space in which debating its merits is possible, the illiberals must be marginalized, or at least chastened. Debating the merits of a policy won’t do that. Accusing illiberals of wanting to punish those who suffer for their suffering might.
No one chooses to suffer. Illiberals disagree.
They believe with all their hearts in the existence of the mythical Lazy Do-Nothing. They believe he’s out there, somewhere, lazing about, getting something, doing nothing. They believe that work requirements are benevolent and socially constructive. They said they punish laziness and reward work.
But the only way for that proposition to be true – that poor people choose their poverty as well as their suffering – is for you to have an opinion about poor people that’s so monstrous that they are scarcely human beings at all. In other words, for the proposition to be true – that poor people choose their poverty – you must already hate poor people for the fact of their poverty.
The problem isn’t whether this or that anti-poverty policy does or doesn't work. The problem is hating the poor. The problem is punishing them for suffering. They are already suffering. Now they will suffer twice as much.
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