YouTube expands its policies to prohibit conspiracy theories that justifies real-world violence

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YouTube has become the latest company to take a critical stand against QAnon. The Google-owned video streaming site said it would remove videos that encourage violence; but did not say it would ban QAnon content.

In a blog post on Friday, YouTube said content that targets or harasses people based on conspiracy theories will be removed from its platform. It did not however, say it would issue a general ban on QAnon content.

People will be free to discuss topics around them as long as such content does not target individuals or groups. 

“Today we’re further expanding both our hate and harassment policies to prohibit content that targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence. One example would be content that threatens or harrasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in  one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate.”

The US election is only a matter of weeks away, and major stakeholders are putting measures in place to guard against misinformation.

Lately, Facebook announced the extension it placed on QAnon-related content to all its social platforms. Recall that the social media giant had last August placed a ban on content related to QAnon–a group sympathetic to US President Donald Trump.

In July, Twitter vowed that its platform would no longer welcome right-wing conspiracy theories also known as QAnon. The microblogging company said it would begin treating QAnon content on its platform differently. Going forward, the company said it would remove related topics from its trending pages and algorithm recommendations.

Twitter also added that it would rid its platform of all associated URLs, and permanently suspend any accounts tweeting about QAnon that had previously been suspended.

Twitter said it would permanently suspend such accounts as part of measures to keep its platform safe for all.

Also in July, Tiktok came down hard on QAnon content by banning all hashtags related to the conspiracy. That said, TikTok will not be removing videos using the hashtags from its platform. Per the BBC, all content related to “QAnon,” “QAnonTruth” and the related phrase “Out of Shadows,” often used by QAnon believers are now being blocked by the video sharing app.

TikTok’s decision to block or restrict “QAnonTruth” searches following a question from the BBC’s anti-disinformation unit, which noticed that conspiracy videos using such hashtags had spiked. The video-sharing app was concerned that such information if allowed to continue to have a free reign could cause harm to the general public.

Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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