YouTube Removes Videos Promoting QAnon
YouTube has removed tens of thousands of videos and terminated hundreds of channels that promote the pro-Donald Trump conspiracy community QAnon.
In a blog post on Thursday the internet giant wrote: “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 harasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate. As always, context matters, so news coverage on these issues or content discussing them without targeting individuals or protected groups may stay up.”
YouTube was the most widely used platform for spreading the word about QAnon and its predecessor “Pizzagate.” The crazy theory sprang up in 2017. Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms also have moved to ban material that promotes QAnon.
While it began as a fringe community online it recently has oozed its way into the offline world. QAnon adherents increasingly are seen at Trump campaign rallies and have been trying to glom on to other movements, such as anti-vaxers. Some believers have been charged with violent crimes. One was arrested in April for threatening to kill Joe Biden.
In another case, 24-year-old Anthony Comello last year was arrested for murdering a reputed New York mafia boss. The man’s defense lawyer said his client, through his involvement with QAnon, believed he was acting as a “chosen vigilante” of Donald Trump. “Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support,” his attorney wrote.
The FBI considers QAnon a potential domestic terror threat, but that hasn’t deterred Georgia Congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene from being an adherent.
The avowed QAnon supporter won a Republican primary in a heavily conservative district, making it almost certain she will be elected to Congress in November. After her win, Trump called her a “future Republican star.”