TikTok (sort of) clamps down on QAnon-related content

Following Twitter’s lead, TikTok has ensured that all QAnon-related hashtags will no longer appear on their platform, but existing content will remain.

 

 

TikTok has blocked a plethora of hashtags related to the QAnon conspiracy theory from appearing in search results amid concerns regarding misinformation. The move comes days after Twitter itself banned thousands of QAnon-related accounts.

QAnon is an ever-evolving, pro-Trump conspiracy theory whose followers believe that the president is up against a covert “deep state” network of political, business and media elites. It began in October 2017 on the anonymous message board 4chan. A user claimed to have top security clearance within the US government and signed off their posts as “Q”, hence the name. Q communicates in cryptic posts and claims to be directly involved in a top-secret investigation (led by Trump) into a global network on child abusers.

TikTok announced it has restricted “QAnonTruth” searches after a question from the BBC’s anti-disinformation unit, which detected a spike in conspiracy videos using the tag. The social media giant expressed concern that such misinformation could harm both users and the public at large.

 

“QAnon” and related hashtags, such as “Out of Shadows”, ”Fall Cabal” and “QAnonTruth”, when searched, will not return any results on TikTok. Videos using said tags, however, will remain on the platform.

 

“QAnon” and related hashtags, such as “Out of Shadows”, ”Fall Cabal” and “QAnonTruth”, when searched, will not return any results on TikTok. Videos using said tags, however, will remain on the platform.

Some of the videos brandishing the “QAnon” hashtag have millions of cumulative views and can still be found by users if the algorithm happens to direct them to it for some other reason.

TikTok’s intervention follows in the footsteps of Twitter, who implemented measures earlier last week aimed at cracking down on QAnon conspiracy theorists—chiefly, banning thousands of accounts.

It is said the accounts suspended will be those that “engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, co-ordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension”.

Twitter also said it would halt the recommendations of content linked to QAnon and block URLs associated with it from being shared on the platform, in an effort to prevent “offline harm.”

Sources close to Facebook say that QAnon is not lost on them either, as the social media site is looking to take similar action over supporters of the conspiracy theory. QAnon groups on the site have hundreds of thousands of members.

 

 

 

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