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YouTube cracks down on QAnon, banning conspiracy content targeting individuals

Credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

YouTube, the video service of Alphabet Inc, said on Thursday it was banning content that targets an individual or a group using conspiracy theories such as QAnon or Pizzagate that have "been used to justify real-world violence."

By Elizabeth Culliford

Oct 15 (Reuters) - YouTube, the video service of Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, said on Thursday it was banning content that targets an individual or a group using conspiracy theories such as QAnon or Pizzagate that have "been used to justify real-world violence."

The company said in a blog post that it would begin enforcing these expanded hate and harassment policies immediately and would "ramp up" in the weeks to come.

YouTube's move follows recent crackdowns announced by other major social media companies, including Facebook Inc FB.O and Twitter Inc TWTR.N, against QAnon content.

QAnon is an unfounded and sprawling conspiracy theory that baselessly claims U.S. President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and 'deep state' allies. It was named by the FBI as a potential instigator of domestic terrorism.

The conspiracy theory also borrows some elements from the bogus Pizzagate theory about a pedophile ring run out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in London, England and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Rosalba O'Brien)

((akanksha.rana@thomsonreuters.com; ; Twitter: @AkankshaRanaa;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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