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YouTube Updates Hate and Harassment Policies to Combat Conspiracy Theories

Recently, social media censorship on private platforms has been at the forefront of discussion.  With predominant platforms Facebook and Twitter working to fact check and remove content containing fake news, other companies are sure to follow suit.  This includes, most recently, YouTube.

On Thursday, YouTube announced that it will begin banning videos that target “an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence,” which is an expansion of its hate and harassment policies.  YouTube’s new policies, however, are not as restrictive as those of Facebook and Twitter.

While Twitter banned 7,000 accounts associated with conspiracy theories this past July, and more recently, Facebook banned QAnon-related information from its platform, YouTube is not enforcing an explicit ban on videos or articles that promote conspiracy theories.  Instead, they are taking a focused approach surrounding content that targets individuals. 

In the past, YouTube has attempted other methods to slow the influence of conspiracy theories by updating its algorithm.  With this previous adjustment, the recommended page was changed to stop promoting conspiracy-related content.

Now, with these latest policy changes, YouTube hopes that it will be able to combat the spread of misinformation on its platform; however, they also noted that additional steps may need to be taken as they move forward.


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