YouTube will ban videos that promote QAnon and other conspiracy theories, but only if they target specific people or groups, seeking to crackdown on potentially dangerous misinformation after criticism the service helped these fringe movements expand.
The decision comes a week after Facebook Inc. said it would remove accounts associated with QAnon, a far-right movement that the FBI has reportedly labeled a domestic terrorism threat.
YouTube’s ban is an attempt to stamp out the conspiracy without hindering the massive volume of news and political commentary on its service. Rather than a blanket prohibition of QAnon videos or accounts, YouTube is expanding its hate and harassment policies to include conspiracies that “justify real-world violence,” the company said on Thursday.
“Context matters, so news coverage on these issues or content discussing them without targeting individuals or protected groups, may stay up,” YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, wrote in a blog post.