YouTube says will not ban QAnon content, but will remove videos promoting violence
YouTube is the latest company to update its moderation policies around the fringe theory QAnon. YouTube announced that the content targeting or harassing people based on conspiracy theories will be removed. YouTube has plans in place to crack down on Pizzagate, QAnon, and other conspiracy theory content on its platform that has been used to justify real-world violence.
However, YouTube will not issue a blanket ban on QAnon content, though. As said by the company that the updated policy isn’t a ban on QAnon but some content will be removed if it meets the criteria outlined in YouTube’s latest blog post. The company expects that it will have a significant impact on the remaining QAnon content on the platform.
As per the new blog post, YouTube is trying to curb harassment and hate by removing conspiracy theory content used to justify real-world violence. That means if users are posting particular videos about QAnon and alleging anything that could result in actual harm or harassment for a specific person or group, those videos will be removed.
YouTube’s blog post did not clarify whether or not those accounts would be removed.
The blog post says that context matters the most, so any news coverage or content discussion without targeting individuals or protected groups may stay up. The blog post also said that the company will begin enforcing this updated policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.
The company says, “YouTube has always spent some time updating its policies over the last couple of years to target hate videos or conspiracy theory videos. The policies are supposed to limit algorithmic recommendations of these types of videos, and the number of views for QAnon content that came from non-subscribed recommendations has dropped by more than 80 percent since January 2019.”
It is just not YouTube that is taking an additional stance against QAnon conspiracy theories, other social platforms also are starting to take firmer stances. Facebook banned content related to QAnon and QAnon pages, groups and Instagram accounts just last week, although posts from individual accounts are still fine. Facebook’s move is a part of the ongoing fight against misinformation spreading on the platform. Pinterest followed saying that it will ban all QAnon content. Twitter has also unveiled a plan to limit the impact of QAnon-related content.
YouTube’s blog post adds boasts of the fact that it has removed tens of thousands of QAnon-videos and terminated hundreds of channels since the updated policy went into place.
The company says, “The work is pivotal in curbing the reach of harmful conspiracies.” It also acknowledged that there’s more to be done and said, “There’s even more, we can do to address certain conspiracy theories that are used to justify violence, like QAnon.”