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YouTube CEO won't say if company will ban QAnon

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Last week, Facebook announced a ban on any pages, groups, and Instagram accounts representing the conspiracy theory QAnon on its platform.

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

"We're looking very closely at QAnon," Wojcicki said.

Wojcicki pointed to changes made to YouTube's recommendation system, which she said have reduced viewership of QAnon content by more than 80%.

She said "a lot" of QAnon-related content would be classified in what YouTube calls "borderline content" -- which doesn't explicitly break its rules.

"We also have already removed a lot of it, in terms of hundreds of thousands of videos because it could violate other parts of our policies: hate, harassment, Covid information," Wojcicki said.

While Facebook was key for spreading QAnon ideas, the conspiracy theory has also thrived on YouTube.

Harlow asked Wojcicki about the hesitation to ban QAnon on YouTube, especially as the FBI has called followers a potential domestic terror threat.

Like what does that exactly mean, a QAnon group exactly?" Wojcicki said.

"That's a kind of thing that we would need to put in terms of the policies and make sure that we were super clear.

And so I think each of us will take an approach that makes the most sense for our platforms," she added.

Wojcicki repeatedly dodged questions on whether she makes the final call on decisions, such as taking down content from presidential candidates prematurely declaring victory.

"We have virtual war rooms to make sure that we have all the right people.

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