YouTube is stepping up its efforts in opposition to QAnon-related content material
YouTube said Thursday that it is updating its hate and harassment policy to include banning content suggesting someone is complicit with conspiracy theories like QAnon or Pizzagate.
It was made clear on Google's own video page that context is taken into account so that content such as messages that discuss these topics without targeting individuals or protected groups will not be affected by the changes that go into effect on Thursday.
Thursday's updates follow YouTube's move earlier this week to ban content about vaccinations that contradicts the expert consensus of local health authorities or the World Health Organization.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that claims that high profile Democrats and celebrities ritually sacrifice children and that President Donald Trump is fighting this cabal online. His followers relentlessly resort to those they believe are part of the Cabal, both public figures and individuals.
Twitter began cleaning up accounts linked to QAnon in July, while Facebook and Instagram followed suit in August.
Facebook and Instagram also officially banned ads for QAnon conspiracy theories late last month, and earlier this month committed to deleting content from all sites, groups, and accounts representing QAnon, regardless of whether they share content related to potential violence.
YouTube began its efforts against QAnon as part of a major overhaul of its recommendation engine in January 2019, and said those steps caused a 70% decrease in views from its search and recommendations and an 80% decrease in views from non-recommendations – subscribed recommendations to well-known QAnon-related channels since January 2019.
The company said it had removed tens of thousands of QAnon videos and terminated hundreds of channels, with an emphasis on those that explicitly threaten violence or deny the existence of serious violent events.
YouTube said in a blog post on Thursday, “Dealing with misinformation and harmful conspiracy theories is challenging as the content is constantly changing and evolving. To handle this type of content effectively, it is important that our teams continually review and update our policies and systems to reflect the frequent changes. "