A woman wearing a sweatshirt for the QAnon conspiracy theory gestures during a pro-Trump rally on October 11, 2020 in Ronkonkoma, New York.
Enlarge / A lady carrying a sweatshirt for the QAnon conspiracy principle gestures throughout a pro-Trump rally on October 11, 2020 in Ronkonkoma, New York.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Photos

Left-leaning nonprofit Media Issues has recognized 27 congressional candidates who’ve endorsed or given credence to QAnon, or promoted associated content material. Final month, a director in Citigroup’s data expertise division was dismissed after he was recognized because the operator of probably the most essential QAnon web sites.

As an alternative of implementing a full ban, YouTube laid out a number of caveats to its modifications: “content material discussing [conspiracy theories] with out focusing on people or protected teams” will stay on the platform, it stated, in addition to information protection of the problems.

The updates, launched simply weeks earlier than the US vote, come as researchers have more and more voiced frustration over what they see as an absence of transparency from YouTube over how a lot misinformation and co-ordinated manipulation is discovered on its platform, and the way it’s dealt with.

Others have pointed to lapses within the enforcement of present insurance policies. An exterior examine by Media Issues, carried out earlier than the announcement, discovered 17 high QAnon YouTube channels with greater than 4.7 million subscribers “explicitly violated” its phrases of service.

The transfer is more likely to drive some QAnon believers in direction of a constellation of smaller various platforms with much less stringent content material moderation insurance policies. Specialists have additionally warned that members of the motion have already infiltrated much less contentious communities, similar to these devoted to baby safety, the place they usually try to win over new converts by presenting a much less political model of the QAnon narrative.

YouTube stated it could begin imposing the brand new coverage instantly, including that it could “look to ramp up within the weeks to come back.”

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