The streaming platform Roku allowed another channel dedicated to promoting the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory to launch on its platform, where it has remained for months. The platform previously removed another QAnon channel within just weeks of its launch in response to reporting from Media Matters.
The channel Patriots’ Soapbox -- which features in its logo the QAnon slogan, “Where we go one, we go all,” or “WWG1WGA” for short -- is listed in the Roku store as “the first 24-hour LIVE news, information, and opinion/discussion network, run by PATRIOTS.” The Roku channel, whose launch Patriots’ Soapbox announced on Twitter last December, is a 24/7 livestream of a YouTube channel of the same name (which also airs elsewhere online). That channel analyzes and shares images of posts from “Q” -- the central figure of the conspiracy theory -- and has therefore helped amplify misinformation, including about the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, NBC News reported that Patriots’ Soapbox, which it called a “round-the-clock livestreamed YouTube channel for Qanon study and discussion,” was co-founded by one of the first figures to popularize the conspiracy theory. He had been a moderator on the 4chan message board known as “/pol/,” where “Q” first posted in 2017 and which is a known hotspot for white nationalists.
Roku has previously said that it bars from its platform content that is “unlawful, incited illegal activities, or violates third-party rights.” In May 2019, an FBI field office released a memo that listed QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat, and the conspiracy theory’s supporters have been linked to numerous violent incidents, including murders and attempted kidnappings.
Roku has previously cracked down on other QAnon and extremist content: On June 2, the service banned a newer QAnon channel following Media Matters’ reporting on the channel, and last year it also banned the channel for conspiracy theory outlet Infowars.