YouTube CEO will not say if firm will ban QAnon

In an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow for the Boss Files podcast, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stopped wanting pledging to ban QAnon followers on the platform.

“We’re wanting very intently at QAnon,” Wojcicki stated. “We already applied a lot of completely different insurance policies which have helped to take care of that in a accountable method.”

Believers of the far-right conspiracy concept, which first appeared three years in the past, have embraced quite a few completely different and generally contradictory concepts. However the fundamental false beliefs underlying QAnon are claims a few cabal of politicians and A-list celebrities partaking in baby intercourse abuse, and a “deep state” effort to undermine President Trump.

Wojcicki pointed to adjustments made to YouTube’s advice system, which she stated have decreased viewership of QAnon content material by greater than 80%. She stated “so much” of QAnon-related content material can be categorized in what YouTube calls “borderline content material” — which does not explicitly break its guidelines.

“We even have already eliminated quite a lot of it, by way of tons of of hundreds of movies as a result of it might violate different elements of our insurance policies: hate, harassment, Covid info,” Wojcicki stated. “There’s been numerous movies which have been taken down or the views have been decreased.”

Different social media platforms have turn out to be extra aggressive in policing such content material. Final week, Fb announced a ban on any pages, teams, and Instagram accounts representing QAnon on its platform.

Whereas Fb was key for spreading QAnon concepts, the conspiracy concept has additionally thrived on YouTube.

Harlow requested Wojcicki concerning the hesitation to ban QAnon on YouTube, particularly because the FBI has referred to as followers a potential domestic terror threat. She didn’t present a transparent reply.

“I believe with each coverage, it must be outlined very clearly. Like what does that precisely imply, a QAnon group precisely?” Wojcicki stated. “That is a type of factor that we would wish to place by way of the insurance policies and guarantee that we had been tremendous clear. So we’re persevering with to evolve our insurance policies right here. It is not that we’re not taking a look at it or we do not need to make adjustments.

“I believe the best way to method it’s by really having the insurance policies applied in the best method. And our platform may be very completely different from how Fb works. And so I believe every of us will take an method that makes probably the most sense for our platforms,” she added.

Harlow additionally requested Wojcicki about YouTube’s plan for election evening. Wojcicki repeatedly dodged questions on whether or not she makes the ultimate name on choices, corresponding to taking down content material from presidential candidates prematurely declaring victory. She declined to touch upon hypothetical examples or eventualities.

“We’ve digital battle rooms to guarantee that we’ve all the best folks. We will make these choices in a short time. We’ve people who find themselves scouting the web. We’ve an intelligence desk,” she stated. “We could have the total set of data and everybody able to guarantee that we’re making the best calls.”

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