Quebec’s best-known conspiracy theorist, Alexis Cossette-Trudel, misplaced one other media platform on Thursday when YouTube shut down his account, which had greater than 120,000 subscribers.
YouTube stated it was eradicating Cossette-Trudel’s channel, Radio-Québec, for “repeatedly violating our neighborhood tips relating to COVID-19 misinformation.” The information was first reported by Radio-Canada.
Final week, Fb shut down each Cossette-Trudel’s private account and his Radio-Québec account, the place he had additionally gained a big following.
Fb stated it took motion in opposition to Radio-Québec due to its affiliation with the QAnon conspiracy motion, which believes, amongst different issues, that world occasions are managed by a cabal of Satanic pedophiles.
YouTube stated Thursday it too is taking measures to maintain QAnon content material off its platform. It introduced that it’s going to take away movies that goal “a person or group with conspiracy theories which were used to justify real-world violence.”
A spokesperson for YouTube informed CBC Information that 60 channels and 1,800 movies have been eliminated Thursday underneath the brand new coverage, and extra terminations have been anticipated within the coming weeks.
The spokesperson, Zaitoon Murji, stated Radio-Québec was eliminated not for its ties to QAnon however for spreading incorrect details about COVID-19.
WATCH | Quebec conspiracy theorist faraway from Fb:
Affect grew as pandemic worsened
The variety of subscribers to Radio-Québec’s YouTube channel have greater than tripled because the begin of the pandemic.
In his movies, a few of which have been considered lots of of hundreds of occasions, Cossette-Trudel repeats groundless claims that the risks of COVID-19 are being exaggerated as a part of a plot to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump.
He additionally routinely maintains — with out proof — that Quebec authorities officers are manipulating statistics about deaths and hospitalizations. He argues that public well being restrictions, corresponding to sporting masks indoors, are unjustified.
Because of his social media following, Cossette-Trudel has turn out to be a number one determine inside the motion opposing Quebec’s public-health guidelines. He spoke at a number of anti-mask demonstrations in the summertime and fall.
The Quebec authorities has expressed rising concern in regards to the affect of conspiracy theories within the province.
Premier François Legault stated final week they posed a “actual drawback” to the federal government’s efforts at curbing the second wave of coronavirus infections. (The province reported 969 new instances on Thursday).
“It would not assist to persuade the inhabitants to comply with our tips,” Legault stated.
Cossette-Trudel continues to broadcast on smaller, lesser-known social media channels, however his following there’s a fraction of what it was on YouTube and Fb.