Dozens of Spanish-language election fraud YouTube videos demonstrate the platform's toothless policies
Media Matters has identified 40 videos containing explicit election misinformation
Media Matters has identified dozens more Spanish-language YouTube videos spreading misinformation about U.S. elections, building on two pieces of previous reporting that highlighted 12 videos that promoted false narratives about supposedly fraudulent votes in the 2020 elections.
YouTube allowed four videos from the previous reports to remain on the platform, even though their central claims included that fraudulent ballots were coming to the U.S. from China and Mexico, 1.8 million “ghost voters” voted in 2020, 66,248 minors voted, and that a crime boss made 300,000 fake ballots for now-President Joe Biden.
YouTube has explicit election misinformation policies and has committed to combating Spanish-language election misinformation ahead of the midterms. However, platforms like YouTube will often roll out a policy too late and still not enforce their policies uniformly.
Media Matters has identified dozens of additional videos since those original reports that spread a plethora of election fraud narratives on Spanish-language YouTube, which have been repeatedly debunked in the past, including the Georgia suitcase ballot dumping conspiracy theory and the claim that dead people voted in 2020. In total we have found 40 videos containing violative content regarding election integrity, including the 12 videos that were previously reported in the two prior pieces of content and another 28 additional videos reported below.
YouTube channels like Americano Media’s Isabel Cuervo’s account have already started spreading skepticism about the midterm elections, saying that “corrupt” NGOs allegedly manage the vote and that the Democratic party is trying to “cover up the reality” of an election that has yet to happen. Other YouTubers baselessly claimed that there will be violence from the left if Republicans win this November. Additionally, on right-wing Spanish-language radio and social media, many prominent personalities have fearmongered this summer about election interference by Democrats in the upcoming midterms, including personalities that have significant YouTube presences.
Spanish-language YouTube videos spreading election fraud narratives
The additional 28 videos listed below – which racked up more than 1.6 million views combined – spread egregious election misinformation during the 2020 presidential election cycle. The false claim that the Dominion voting systems are linked to the supposed manipulation of U.S. elections was a staple narrative in the Spanish-language misinformation sphere. Similar narratives are still being spread on Spanish-language radio and other social media platforms ahead of the 2022 midterms.
Election misinformation about Dominion, Smartmatic, or voting machines
Right-wing Spanish-language actors have spread misinformation about Dominion and Smartmatic voting systems since the 2020 presidential elections. Many have tied these voting systems to election fraud cases in countries like Mexico and Venezuela, and claimed that Dominion voting machines have changed votes from one candidate to another. However, no evidence has been found indicating that Dominion enabled any sort of mass election fraud.
YouTube has an election misinformation policy against “claims that a candidate only won a swing state in the U.S. 2020 presidential election due to voting machine glitches that changed votes.”
- In a video titled “Soros detained for election interference, possible fraud uncovered,” Paracen Noticias Extra, with 1.68 million subscribers, spread a patently false conspiracy theory claiming that George Soros was detained for election fraud. Additionally, the host falsely claimed that Dominion voting systems switched 6,000 votes in Michigan. [9/23/20]
- In a video with nearly 270,000 views titled “Cesar Vidal – Election fraud is credible from a judicial point of view,” published by YouTube channel Wenceslao Cruz, guest Cesar Vidal falsely claimed that there was massive election fraud in the 2020 presidential election due to alleged ballot dumps, manipulated mail-in ballots, people voting without identification, and Dominion voting systems. [10/04/20]
- In a video titled “Attorney Powell claims software altered U.S. elections and links “deception” to Venezuela,” YouTube channel El Pitazo shared a subtitled Fox Business interview with attorney and election fraudster Sidney Powell, where she claimed that they had “staggering statistical evidence” that Dominion was created to manipulate elections in Venezuela and then taken international to influence elections in other countries. [11/14/20]
- In a video titled “U.S. Election Update: George Soros Uncovered,” YouTube channel Stories of Tomorrow, which has over 120,000 followers, echoed Rudy Giuliani’s claim that the Democrats changed votes through computer algorithms and that Smartmatic has been at the center of supposed election frauds in the U.S., Mexico, and Venezuela. The video also peddled the false narrative that George Soros and Mark Malloch Brown were behind election fraud in the U.S. [11/23/20]
- In a video titled “Uncounted votes continue to appear... How will all this electoral chaos end?” Americano Media’s Dania Alexandrino echoed Powell’s false claims that Dominion voting machines were designed to secretly switch votes. [11/18/20]
- In a video titled “Trump makes strong statements on election irregularities,” Alexandrino echoed false claims about Dominion’s voting machines, claiming that “thousands and thousands” of votes could have been counted twice in Georgia and Michigan. [12/02/20]
- Alexandrino falsely claimed that there was a “glitch” that removed 6,000 or more votes that belonged to Trump and gave them to Biden in a video titled “Hand-counting presidential votes in Georgia... Today we also honor veterans.” [11/11/20]
- In a video titled “Forensic Look #IsabelCuervo tells it all #Whatthemediahides,” Cuervo made the false claim that Dominion voting machines commit an “extraordinary number” of errors that could have altered the election results. [12/21/20]
- In a video titled “Machines, Sovereignty, and Democracy - Live,” Cuervo’s guest Ana Diaz claimed that the Smartmatic software “destroyed” a critical phase of the electoral process and asserted that the software can change election results across multiple counties. [11/17/20]
- In a video titled “They did it! Trump and his lawyers got their hands on Dominion and other breaking news,” YouTube channel Super Viralisimo, which has over 300,000 followers, echoed former President Donald Trump’s false allegations that voting machines were responsible for the “thousands” of votes against Trump. [12/08/20]
- In a video titled “Big storm advances towards North America and other latest international news,” Super Viralisimo also claimed that Biden “stole” the 2020 election via voting machine errors and claimed that they pocketed millions of dollars along with the Chinese Communist Party. [11/08/20]
- In a video titled “Breaking-Electoral-College-Arizona-Trump-U.S.-And,” conservative YouTube personality Monica Calle made claims about supposed massive voter fraud, including claims of “foreign interference” and stolen voting machines. [12/14/20]
Fraudulent or manipulated ballot narratives
The videos below center around the claim that thousands — or hundreds of thousands — of fraudulent or manipulated ballots caused election fraud in the United States, which led Biden to victory. Many YouTubers falsely claimed that dead people voted, foreigners voted, or that people voted multiple times. There is no evidence that there's been widespread fraud through ballots casted by non-citizens, for dead people, or by people voting twice,
YouTube has an election misinformation policy against “claims that dead people voted in numbers that changed the outcome of the U.S. 2016 presidential election.” Though this explicit policy only concerns narratives from the 2016 presidential election, many videos on the 2020 presidential election have also peddled the narrative that dead people voted.
- In a video titled “Problems for Joe Biden,” with over 385,000 views, YouTube channel Los Liberales claimed that Trump’s legal team found between 800,000 and 1.2 million illegal votes, including 8,000 votes under the names of deceased people and thousands of other manipulated or fraudulent ballots. [11/27/20]
- In a video titled “FBI already has the evidence to investigate fraud in US elections,” Parecen Noticias Extra claimed there was “massive” electoral fraud in which hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2020 election, allegedly by people that don’t exist and people who voted multiple times. [11/29/20]
- In a video titled “Release the ‘Kraken’: President Trump's final strike,” with over 205,000 views, YouTube channel Rafa Pal falsely claimed that Joe Biden admitted that they were planning “the biggest election fraud operation in history,” and further claimed that dead people, foreigners, and children voted, alongside people who were, in their telling, too old to be voting at all. [11/15/20]
- In a video titled “Irrefutable evidence of Democratic fraud in 2020 elections,” YouTube channel Carlos Garin VLOG claimed that election fraud was evidenced by 600,000 votes that were allegedly disqualified for using Sharpie to mark their ballots. [11/06/20]
- In his video titled “Editorial: 2000 MULES or how Joe Biden got to the White House thanks to electoral fraud - 06/14/22,” Vidal spread the 2,000 mules conspiracy theory popularized by Dinesh D’Souza. [6/14/22]
- In a video titled “They show more evidence of the supposed election fraud in the United States,” YouTube channel El Endógeno echoed right-wing conspiracies of voter fraud and claimed more than 300,000 Democratic votes from other states resulted in Biden’s win in Nevada. [11/07/20]
- In a video titled “The Swamp vs. We the People,” YouTube channel Jota DBS compiled several English clips with Spanish subtitles that amplified election fraud narratives from figures like Rudy Giuliani and other right-wing sources. One claim purported that a “spike” in the vote count which favored Biden was an indicator of election fraud. Another clip featured Giuliani claiming that there were 700,000 more mail-in ballots received than sent out in Pennsylvania. [12/05/20]
- In a video titled “Trump does not give up… he will unmask the election fraud in the United States,” Actualidad radio host Agustin Acosta spread the right-wing conspiracy theory about suitcases full of fraudulent ballots in Georgia and claimed there were “95,000 illegal votes” in Las Vegas that otherwise “would have given Trump the win in Nevada.” [12/06/20]
- In a video titled “What happened to Democracy in the U.S.?,” Agustin Laje Arrigoni, with over 1.54 million subscribers, claimed that mass election fraud took place in the U.S. because dead people were registered to vote, and that the 140,000 vote increase for Biden and zero for Trump was a questionable “irregular” occurrence. [11/05/20]
- In a video titled “Breaking News! Viganó: The United States is in the midst of a 'colossal electoral fraud'. We must pray,” YouTube channel Radio Rosa Mistica Colombia falsely claimed that mainstream media was censoring electoral fraud claims and echoed Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s claims that there were more votes than voters in some states. The channel also claimed that some states eliminated ballot “scrutiny” for no reason. [11/04/20]
- In a video titled “Did Donald Trump or Joe Biden win? Did Democrats commit fraud? United States elections 2020,” YouTube channel RoberSR claimed that ballots were cast in the name of dead people, and that votes just “appeared” suddenly through vote by mail. The host also claimed that Republican observers were denied access to poll centers in Pennsylvania. [11/06/20]
- In a video titled “Venezuelan News Today, Trump makes it hard for Biden in the U.S. and latest news,” Super Viralisimo echoed Trump’s claimed that a “huge number of ballots” have been compromised in the 2020 elections, and claimed that the former president has “proof” that there was massive election fraud in the United States. [11/10/20]
General stolen election narratives
The videos below consist of broadly misinformative claims about the 2020 presidential election. Many of the videos below echo Trump’s allegation of a rigged election and claims that the radical left or Democrats are responsible for orchestrating some supposed election fraud.
YouTube has misinformation policies that prohibit “claims that widespread fraud or errors occurred in a past U.S. presidential election” or “claims that the U.S. 2020 presidential election was rigged or stolen."
- In a video titled “This is how fraud took place in the U.S.,” YouTube channel Mexicodezpierto falsely claimed that “major historic fraud” took place in at least two states. The narrator stated that Biden gained 2% on Trump with only 1% of ballots counted, and concluded that this was a “brutal manipulation of numbers.” [11/04/20]
- In a video titled “They called for the Annulment of U.S. Elections on Serious Fraud President Trump 2021,” YouTube channel Ipradom News played clips of Trump denying Biden’s presidential victory and claimed that the “radical left” is behind the most “infamous and fraudulent” election results in history. [11/27/20]
- In a video titled “Election fraud in the United States, Trump warns,” YouTube channel Rony Analiza shared a subtitled version of Trump’s speech on election night where the former president claimed that Democrats stole the election and committed “a fraud on the American public.” [11/04/20]
- In a video titled “Colossal election fraud, United States is suffering,” YouTube channel BTN Noticias echoed Trump’s false allegations that the Democrats committed “fraud and corruption” by sending ballots to voters who did not request them. The YouTube channel also claimed that if mail-in ballots were counted after the day of elections, that this made them fraudulent. [11/06/20]
Update (10/10/22): Just prior to the publication of this piece, YouTube terminated two of the channels discussed above, Super Viralisimo and Monica Calle News 2. Super Viralisimo was highlighted in a previous article, and its videos were left on the platform for more than a month before they were removed. Additionally, another video referenced above appears to have been removed by the channel that posted it, also just prior to publication.