YouTube announced that it’s updated its policies regarding removing content that targets or harasses creators or people based on conspiracy theories. According to YouTube, it’s looking to curb harassment and hate. At the same time, other platforms are committing to banning QAnon content.
Recently, there’s been a rising number of companies and platforms committing to banning QAnon content. However, YouTube has refrained from banning QAnon content outright. YouTube said that it will continue to reduce hate and harassment by removing more conspiracy theory content used to justify real-world violence. Essentially, this means YouTube will remove videos covering QAnon and alleging things that may lead to violence or harassment to a specific person or group. YouTube didn’t say whether the removal applies to the channel or the video itself. Likely, YouTube will use its three-strike policy, unless the case is extreme.
“As always, context matters, so news coverage on these issues or content discussing them without targeting individuals or protected groups may stay up,” YouTube’s blog post says. “We will begin enforcing this updated policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.”
YouTube is in the minority on the topic of QAnon content banning
Last week, Facebook committed to banning all content related to QAnon. However, posts from individuals about the topic aren’t being banned. According to Facebook, it made this decision to continue to fight misinformation spreading on its platform. Additionally, Pinterest has been banning QAnon content since 2018. Also, Pelton has removed hashtags related to conspiracy theories. Even though YouTube has committed to removing videos promoting violence, it hasn’t gone as far as these platforms.
YouTube says it can do more
According to YouTube’s blog, it has “removed tens of thousands of QAnon-videos and terminated hundreds of channels” since the policy update. Still, there’s more work that needs to be done, and YouTube agrees. “There’s even more we can do to address certain conspiracy theories that are used to justify real-world violence, like QAnon.”