After having been pressured by Poppy Harlow of CNN, YouTube has agreed to censor the competitors of CNN.
YouTube said Thursday it will begin banning some content related to QAnon, a massive and baseless online conspiracy theory movement that has been tied to real-life violence.
The online video service said in a blogpost it would remove conspiracy theory content used to justify real-world violence from its network. It comes after Facebook announced similar but more extensive measures, banning all QAnon content outright.
YouTube will instead focus on content that targets an individual or groups with conspiracy theories related to QAnon. It will begin enforcing these expanded hate and harassment policies immediately and would “ramp up” in the weeks to come.
“One example would be content that threatens or harasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate,” the announcement said.
The company argued it had taken previous steps to limit such content, including limiting the reach of harmful misinformation through its recommendations system, but admitted “there’s even more we can do to address certain conspiracy theories that are used to justify real-world violence, like QAnon”.
YouTube is the latest platform to crack down on QAnon content ahead of the 3 November presidential election. Facebook announced on 6 October that it would ban all pages, groups, and accounts related to the promotion of QAnon.
In July, Twitter announced a broad crackdown on QAnon content, kicking 7,000 QAnon accounts off the platform and promising to stop promoting or recommending QAnon. Twitter did not ban QAnon from its site entirely, but said it would no longer make QAnon tweets or accounts visible in searches or recommendations.
But both platforms still struggle to tamp down on the pervasive conspiracy theory. A report from the Associated Press found that, in recent weeks, content related to the mass delusion still spreads on the social media platform. The AP discovered more than a dozen popular QAnon accounts on Twitter that collectively maintain a following of nearly 1.5 million users, almost all of which were recommended to users who followed other QAnon accounts.
QAnon adherents believe that Donald Trump is trying to save the world from a cabal of satanic pedophiles that includes Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies. The conspiracy theory’s narrative includes centuries-old antisemitic tropes, such as the belief that the cabal is harvesting blood from abused children.
The way these people freak out about QAnon sure does make you think it’s real, doesn’t it?
I don’t even really believe in most of the QAnon stuff. I agree that the elite are satanic pedophiles. But many of the directions that Q goes in are silly.
But what the hell?
Why shouldn’t they be allowed to say what they want to say?
What sort of a country do we live in, where it is totally banned for anyone to say anything about anything?
If these people are taking a hard stand against freedom of speech, then what do they stand for?
Is there anything that the Democrats support? Or are they just against white people, Christians and freedom, generally?
To be Clear
I have been critical of QAnon in the past, but I just want to say: I support them 100%, even if I don’t agree with stuff about Tom Hanks or the Wayfair furniture store or whatever.
I have said and will continue to say that I think a lot of their materials are really goofy. But on the whole, they have the right idea. I think probably they’re being manipulated to some degree, and sent off in these weird directions on purpose. But clearly, it is considered a threat to the system.
Ultimately: their basic premise, which is that the government is controlled by satanic pedophiles, is true. There is no way really around that fact.
There is no noticeable difference between QAnon and normal boomer MAGA material. Basically, “banning QAnon” just means “banning all pro-Trump material.” They can enforce it selectively.
But after the election, assuming Trump stays in office, our number one agenda needs to be dealing with this free speech issue. If we are not allowed to speak, we don’t have a country.