Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire are allowing QAnon channels on their streaming platforms -- mostly thanks to one video hosting service
The channels seem to violate multiple terms of service
At least three major streaming devices are hosting multiple channels dedicated to the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory, despite its supporters’ ties to violence -- and seemingly in violation of the platforms’ terms of service. Most of these QAnon channels appear to be using the same video hosting service, Secure Server TV, which facilitates the channels’ distribution across streaming platforms.
In recent months, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube have all cracked down on the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is premised on claims that President Donald Trump is part of a secret fight against a cabal of pedophiles and the so-called “deep state.” The conspiracy theory has been connected to multiple killings and multiple kidnappings and has been embraced by some militia groups. The FBI in 2019 warned that the theory’s supporters presented a potential domestic terrorism threat. Additionally, QAnon supporters regularly circulate harmful falsehoods, ranging from unfounded wildfire conspiracy theories to election misinformation and coronavirus misinformation, along with anti-Semitism.
Nevertheless, at least 10 QAnon channels -- nearly all of which used to be on YouTube before the platform’s crackdown -- still have a home on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Most of the channels use a video hosting service called Secure Server TV, which describes itself as “an OTT (over the top media service) platform designed to distribute your content on multiple platforms all while securing your content with military grade encryption.” The service adds that through its service “you will be featured on your own Web TV site, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android Mobile Apps.”
QAnon content seems to violate terms of service for Secure Server TV as well as the three streaming devices
Secure Server TV
QAnon creators are streaming on Apple TV through the use of the Apple TV-exclusive App Store and are subject to the App Store’s content guidelines. The objectionable content and physical harm policies in those guidelines forbid “discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or harm a targeted individual or group.” The service also prohibits “false information and features” and claims it has the authority to reject any app that “risks physical harm,” including “medical apps that could provide inaccurate data or information.”
Roku prohibits content that is “unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights.” Roku previously removed a QAnon channel following Media Matters’ reporting.
QAnon creators are streaming content through the use of Amazon Fire apps, which are subject to the Amazon Fire Appstore restricted-content policies. These policies explicitly prohibit hate speech, harassment, and illegal activities. Amazon also forbids creators who “promote or praise terrorism.”
These devices nonetheless feature multiple QAnon channels
Media Matters found multiple channels promoting QAnon on each of these streaming devices. In some cases, the QAnon channels advertised that they were available on specific streaming devices as part of their Secure Server TV usage.
Patriots’ Soapbox, as reported by NBC News, is a “round-the-clock livestreamed YouTube channel for Qanon study and discussion,” and it was co-founded by one of the first figures to popularize the conspiracy theory. It was banned by YouTube in October. It is on Roku.
TruReporting is a major QAnon channel that was banned from YouTube in October but has since created a new account to circumvent the ban. It is on Roku and Apple TV, and its Secure Server TV site says it is on Amazon Fire.
Destroying The Illusion
Destroying The Illusion is a major QAnon channel that was banned from YouTube in October. It is on Roku and its Secure Server TV site lists availability on Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
Edge of Wonder
Edge of Wonder is a major QAnon channel that was banned from YouTube in October. It is on Roku and Apple TV.