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Social Media Companies Taking Action Against QAnon

October 15th, 2020 15:37

US media is report­ing that YouTube has joined Face­book and oth­er social media com­pa­nies in tak­ing action against the con­spir­a­cy theory/movement known as QAnon. Accord­ing to a New York Times report:

Oct. 15, 2020 YouTube on Thurs­day became the lat­est social media giant to take steps to stop QAnon, the sprawl­ing pro-Trump con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry com­mu­ni­ty whose online fan­tasies about a cabal of satan­ic pedophiles run­ning the world have spilled over into offline vio­lence. The com­pa­ny announced in a blog post that it was updat­ing its hate speech and harass­ment poli­cies to pro­hib­it “con­tent that tar­gets an indi­vid­ual or group with con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries that have been used to jus­ti­fy real-world vio­lence.” The new pol­i­cy will pro­hib­it con­tent pro­mot­ing QAnon, as well as relat­ed con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries such as Piz­za­gate, which false­ly claims that top Democ­rats and Hol­ly­wood elites are run­ning an under­ground sex-traf­fick­ing ring from the base­ment of a Wash­ing­ton piz­za restau­rant. Oth­er social net­works have also tak­en steps to curb the spread of QAnon, which has been linked to inci­dents of vio­lence and van­dal­ism. Last week, Face­book hard­ened its rules relat­ed to QAnon con­tent and com­pared it to a “mil­i­ta­rized social move­ment” that was becom­ing increas­ing­ly vio­lent. This week, sev­er­al small­er plat­forms, includ­ing Pin­ter­est, Etsy and Triller, also announced new restric­tions on QAnon con­tent. Under YouTube’s new pol­i­cy, which goes into effect today, “con­tent that threat­ens or harass­es some­one by sug­gest­ing they are com­plic­it” in a harm­ful the­o­ry like QAnon or Piz­za­gate will be banned. News cov­er­age of these the­o­ries and videos that dis­cuss the the­o­ries with­out tar­get­ing indi­vid­u­als or groups may still be allowed.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) ear­li­er report­ed that the Russ­ian troll farm known as the Inter­net Research Agency is attempt­ing to use social media accounts to boost the role of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed by QAnon. Accord­ing to the BBC, QAnon is: 

…a wide-rang­ing, unfound­ed con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that says that Pres­i­dent Trump is wag­ing a secret war against elite Satan-wor­ship­ping pae­dophiles  in gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and the media. QAnon  believ­ers have spec­u­lat­ed that this fight will lead to a day of reck­on­ing where promi­nent peo­ple such as for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hillary Clin­ton will be arrest­ed and executed.

Read the entire arti­cle here.