Meta has profited from ads for a QAnon-dedicated Roku channel, despite policies against such content
This comes after Roku has allowed the channel to be installed hundreds of thousands of times on its streaming platform
Meta has allowed a page that is dedicated to a QAnon-supporting Roku channel to launch ads on its platforms, despite the company’s crackdown on QAnon content. It comes as Roku has not taken any action against the channel, even though the company promised to look into it, as it seemingly violates Roku’s rules and precedent.
The channel Burrow, which conspiracy theorists launched in December on the streaming platform Roku, is dedicated to QAnon and other conspiracy theories, such as the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and includes on its channel sections for “Human Trafficking / Elite Pedophelia” and “Rituals and Satanic Cults.” Additionally, the channel’s logo, slogan, and name seemingly reference an embrace of far-right and conspiratorial beliefs.
According to the channel’s internal metrics, Burrow has received more than 400,000 installations on Roku, and now the channel appears to be trying to expand its reach with Meta’s platforms: On February 9, Burrow launched a Facebook page to promote itself, sharing multiple posts from Facebook users praising the channel and encouraging other users to tune in. The page has also launched multiple ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger promoting the Roku channel and directing users to its website. These ads actively running on Meta’s platforms means the company is profiting from promotion of a channel dedicated to QAnon content.
Additionally, the channel is encouraging users to “spread awareness” and “change your Facebook Photos” to an image of the channel’s logo or Facebook page cover photo. The channel’s leadership, who have previously praised Adolf Hitler, bragged that changing Facebook photos would “go right underneath their noses” and “make people go on Roku and check it out” because “Facebook AI isn’t going to capture it.” (The channel’s website also tells viewers to “SPREAD THE WQRD.”)
Burrow’s Facebook page and its ads appear to violate Meta’s policies against QAnon content. In late 2020, Meta announced a crackdown on such content, banning accounts dedicated to the conspiracy theory.
Burrow’s expansion to Meta’s platforms follows Roku’s refusal to take action against the channel — despite telling CNET in January that it was “looking into” the conspiracy theory channel after Media Matters reported that it seemingly violated Roku’s rules prohibiting content that could incite violence, cause imminent harm or push misleading information. The inaction has seemingly emboldened Burrow’s leadership, who have speculated that the channel was “bringing Roku, which is probably a dying app, a dying brand, we’re bringing them back and giving them a lot of advertising,” calling it “great advertising for them.” They also wondered if Roku was “secretly … on the same side and think the same” as the conspiracy theorists running the channel.