YouTube has announced a partial ban on the content which QAnon produces to curb the spread of misinformation. As announced by a company blog post this mostly relates the mass delusion under the company's hate and harassment policy.
YouTube can have a significant impact on the way misinformation and hate speech spreads on its platform due to its suggestions system which has negatively effected QAnon on the platform. The company began actively fact-checking in the U.S back in April with some success.
YouTube has also introduced a Covid-19 news shelf full of trustworthy content. This is another move to try and curb the spread of misinformation.
Now the company has gone one further with a ban on much of the content QAnon produces. This ban does not cover all of QAnon's content unlike the bans imposed by Facebook and Twitter more recently.
However, YouTube believes that this targeted system is more appropriate. The company also believes that it has successfully decreased QAnon's views by removing it from any suggestions.
YouTube introduces partial QAnon ban
As reported by Buzzfeed, QAnon possesses a wide-ranging set of beliefs. Some believe that a cabal of satanic elites rule the world whilst many are opposed to coronavirus restrictions or do not believe the virus exists at all.
YouTube has put a ban on any of their content which can be "used to justify real-world violence." The company announcement uses the example of "content that threatens or harasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies".
For a long time now YouTube has been a key platform for QAnon believes to voice their beliefs and spread them. However, now some of the biggest accounts have begun to disappear as a result of this ban. YouTube said it would continue to enforce in the coming weeks.
The main reason for this focus on QAnon so recently is its association with several violent acts both across the US. The FBI has described them as a domestic terrorist threat.
YouTube more successfully fighting misinformation
Many social media companies have struggled to stop the spread of misinformation on their platforms. Taking down posts is fine but it often spreads to fast for moderators to stop.
However, due to the nature of YouTube, it is able to limit the views certain content gets without having to remove the post. YouTube claims that over the last two years, content it claims to contain misinformation has seen a 70% drop in views.
Since January 2019 views from non-subscribed recommendations to prominent Q-related channels dropped by over 80%. This demonstrates how YouTube can more effectively hide content compared to other platforms.