YouTube has licensed dozens of videos promoting a QAnon conspiracy theory about the late John F. Kennedy Jr. despite the platform’s alleged crackdown on QAnon content and accounts. Some of these videos, which have totaled hundreds of thousands of views, contain ads, which means they generate revenue for both the creators and the platform.
The false QAnon conspiracy theory revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q”, which claimed to have inside scoop showing former President Donald Trump had a secret plot that would wipe out his enemies, “The Deep State And a Democratic cabal. pedophiles. QAnon supporters have been linked to violent incidents and participated in the January 6 uprising, and government agencies have Posted internal warnings more the false conspiracy theory.
In October 2020, YouTube announced a crackdown on QAnon’s content as part of its “efforts to combat hate and harassment by removing more conspiracy theory content used to justify real-world violence.”
Among those who support QAnon, a subset say that Q somehow showed that John F. Kennedy Jr. – the son of former President John F. Kennedy – died in 1999, is somehow still alive and could team up with former President Donald Trump, or even become his running mate. Even though Q refuted this claim in 2018, some QAnon supporters still believe it.
Some QAnon supporters even believe that some QAnon influencers, such as Vincent Fusca Where Juan O. Savin, are in fact JFK Jr. Since the beginning of November, the supporters of QAnon are reunited in Dallas at the spot where senior Kennedy was assassinated, claiming that he and his son will reappear and then team up with Trump – all part of a theory that Trump will somehow be reinstated as president.
Videos pushing the conspiracy theory
A Media Matters review found that JFK Jr.’s conspiracy theory spread to YouTube in the year following the platform’s alleged crackdown on QAnon. Our review, which used the BuzzSumo tracker, found over 40 YouTube videos posted since November 2020 that referred to “JFK Jr”. or “John F. Kennedy Jr.” in their titles, has at least 8,000 views each, and directly pushed the conspiracy theory. Together, these videos have accumulated a total of over 900,000 views.
One video, with over 100,000 views, was titled “DEEP LOOK INTO THE RUMORS SURROUNDING JFK JR.” & JUAN O’SAVIN! “- referring to one of the QAnon influencers who some supporters believe is JFK Jr. – and featured a woman who says” he looks like [Savin] could be JFK Jr. The woman wondered if he was “a big part of this movement that was the 16 plus a letter of the alphabet” – referring to Q, the 17th letter of the alphabet. The video contains ads, meaning both YouTube and the account made money from conspiracy theory. (Another conspiracy-theory-pushing video from the same channel has over 30,000 views and also featured ads.)