YouTube removal of Bolsonaro video is more PR than policy

The big tech giant pats itself on the back for removing disinformation spread by the president, but its moves have not been consequential

youtube bolsonaro elections
In July 2021, Jair Bolsonaro hosted a live broadcast disparaging the country’s voting system. Photo: YouTube/TVBrasilGov

On Monday, YouTube took down a 2021 video of a presentation delivered by Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, in which he relied on false arguments to sow doubt about the integrity of his country’s electoral system. However, while part of the Brazilian media lauded the social media platform for its apparent stand against misinformation, the move was far less commendable than it first appears.

In fact, YouTube only removed one of many copies of the video. Only the version posted on Mr. Bolsonaro’s personal page was taken down, with versions on the federal government’s official TV channel and a...

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