Update (1/25/20): This article has been updated with additional details.
Multiple channels supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory remain active and have even been monetized on the streaming platform DLive, despite its own terms of service seeming to prohibit QAnon content. One of these accounts was directly involved with the January 6 rally supporting President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., that eventually became an insurrection at the United States Capitol.
Following the storming of the Capitol, DLive -- a video streaming site which had been known for hosting white nationalists and other extremists and giving them an avenue to monetize their content -- announced that it would ban multiple far-right figures that may have been involved with the insurrection, some of whom used the platform to livestream the riot. The platform also announced that it would demonetize content that is “deemed to only be appropriate for mature audiences,” which covers “virtually all non-gaming content.” The company claimed these efforts show it “will not tolerate the possibility of violent extremists not only broadcasting on our platform, but potentially profiting by misusing our platform to promote violence or illegal conduct.”
However, the platform has not taken specific action against multiple QAnon channels that have been previously banned on other platforms and which used DLive to monetize the conspiracy theory. This is despite the fact that DLive’s terms of service prohibits content that “is fraudulent, false, misleading or deceptive,” is “violent or threatening or promotes violence or actions that are threatening to any person or entity,” or “promotes illegal or harmful activities or substances.” QAnon has been tied to multiple violent incidents, and the FBI, the Department of Defense, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security have all issued internal warnings about the conspiracy theory. QAnon and its supporters were also heavily involved with the Capitol insurrection.
A review by Media Matters found multiple QAnon channels still active on DLive, some of which were previously banned by YouTube and other platforms. One of those channels is RedPill78, which has been verified by DLive -- meaning the platform considers the channel to be one of its “excellent content creators” and “front line ambassadors for the platform.”
A review of videos from RedPill78 listed on the platform in the past month shows the channel earned at least $5,700 through the use of “lemons,” the platform’s currency which users send to a channel as donations, each of which is worth about $0.012. One of RedPill78’s previously monetized videos on the platform promoted the pro-Trump rally in Washington the day before the Capitol riot, with one of the co-hosts saying, “I would die for President Trump.” Later in the video, a co-host promoted pro-Trump site Joy In Liberty’s fundraising efforts to get “patriots” to the rally on January 6, an effort that directly aided at least one of the rioters. Appearing as a guest, the QAnon influencer known as “Kate Awakening” also said that while QAnon supporters were “peaceful,” there was an “expiration date” on that, and a co-host said they would do “some wrecking ourselves” if QAnon’s predictions did not pan out, later adding that “we must not allow them to steal our country.”
The channel also uploaded a video on January 6 after the insurrection, in which the co-hosts said they went past the police barricade with “that first wave of people” right near the Capitol entrance. A co-host added that while they opposed violence, they wanted to “take back the people’s house,” showing a post from their Gab account about “patriots as they storm the Capitol.” The same co-host also suggested that the Capitol riot was a false flag attack “orchestrated … to set this off and to make sure that it went a certain way,” but said that “President Trump clearly wanted us to show up there” and make “our thirst for justice to be known to the elected officials.” (The video was later removed from DLive but can still be found on RedPill78's Twitch channel.)
Besides RedPill78, other QAnon channels on DLive which have previously been banned by YouTube (and some other platforms) include:
- Woke Societies, which has raised at least $5,800 from top contributors.
- Patriots’ Soapbox (co-founded by one of the main figures to popularize QAnon), which has raised at least $3,800 from top contributors.
- TRUreporting, which has raised at least $900 from top contributors.
- Jordan Sather, who has raised at least $150 from top contributors.
- Edge of Wonder, which has raised at least $100 from top contributors.