Reddit. Facebook. Twitter. Roku. Why are all these tech giants purging QAnon and its followers from their platforms?
I am as mainstream and a normie as they come. For example, I read the local newspaper, watch typical network news, and follow mainstream op-eds. All this time, I thought the QAnon movement was nothing but another weird online subculture, something along the lines of the Flat Earth Society. So when I heard that there was a huge crackdown online on the QAnon movement, I paid attention.
What Is QAnon?
QAnon is a conspiracy theory movement that began in October 2017, when "Q" began posting on the anonymous message board 4chan. "Q" is supposedly an indication of this individual's level of government security clearance, which was supposedly intended to make his information more credible. QAnon theories range from celebrity and politician involvement in pedophile rings to coronavirus being a "deep state" hoax.
Since the initial posts, QAnon theories have become increasingly popular on social media platforms like Reddit and YouTube. The now-deleted Facebook group, Official Q/Qanon, had almost 200,000 members.
Why Has QAnon Been Banned?
Twitter, on July 21, announced measures to target “QAnon activity” across its platform. The company tweeted, “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.” Twitter is suspending accounts for breaking existing rules and will no longer highlight them as “trending” or recommend them.
“Potential Offline Harm”
I have a neighbor who genuinely believes that the government is engaged in “chemtrails,” whatever that means. Every time she brings up that topic, I’ll politely tell her that I’ll look into it, and then swiftly proceed to ignore it – like how we tend to ignore the rants of crazy people. See, I would have done the same for QAnon and ignore the issue, until Twitter decided that I shouldn’t have access to these ideas. This silencing of QAnon brings it into scrutiny.
The more intellectually lazy of us (perhaps due to a chronic lack of care or curiosity) would be happy to be told what to think by someone else. For these people, it’s acceptable for social media platforms to ban ideas they don’t like. Just because they don’t want to entertain the question brought up by “Q,” they see to it that everyone else should also be forbidden to discuss it.
This silencing of QAnon brings it into scrutiny.
But others (especially to those of us who are curious) would rather remain independent thinkers and investigate for ourselves the questions we encounter. So what are the questions and statements made by “Q”? Let’s explore.
The Alerts from QAnon
Just about a year ago (August 2019), Salon wrote a scathing article about the QAnon phenomena. In the article (which aged terribly btw), Salon, in their attempt to paint the QAnon phenomena as utterly ridiculous, mentioned how Q warned that riots were being organized by those in power to serve their political purposes. Well, fast forward to today, and the nationwide riots did occur.
No one likes to be thought of as a conspiracy theorist. However, it’s hard to ignore how peculiar it was that a nationwide protest occurred on May 26, right when Netflix released their hit documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich on May 27. Like how Tiger King became a widely talked-about, nationwide phenomenon, Filthy Rich was set to spark the nation’s interest in child sex-trafficking.
How convenient for child traffickers that our attention was diverted to the rioting and the burning down of American cities instead. And how creepy that QAnon warned about how this would happen.
Epstein’s Pedophile Island
Three years ago, Q said that Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Prince Andrew, and Bill Clinton were on Epstein’s Island. It just came out in the documents released on July 30 that Naomi, Heidi, and Bill were all there.
Should We Care?
It seems like the main theme behind the allegations put forth by “Q” addresses the problem of child sex abuse at the hands of people in the position of power. Yet, we’re made to believe that this movement is based on a far-fetched, lunatic conspiracy theory. How quickly have we forgotten about Anthony Weiner, a Congressman from New York (whose wife, Huma Abedin, was known to be Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman), getting caught grooming a child for sex?
Is it so bad that the QAnon movement is raising awareness about pedophiles abusing their power and victimizing children?
Anthony Weiner sexted, texted, and flirted with a 16-year-old teenage girl. Read that again – a 52-year-old, married Congressman, sent a schoolgirl a picture of his erection while his toddler son slept next to him. And yet, the establishment media wants us to believe that this salacious story was not a big deal? Is it so bad that the QAnon movement is raising awareness about pedophiles abusing their power and victimizing children?
Had the tech companies left the QAnon community alone instead of purging them from the platform, I would have probably ignored the QAnons like how I ignore the Flat Earth Movement and my neighbor’s “chemtrails” hysteria. People will believe crazy things, and it’s up to us to battle these bad ideas in the open (or choose to ignore them).
But it’s only those who know they can’t win in the competition of ideas who will work to silence dissenting voices. If indeed the QAnon movement is nothing but some lunatic conspiracy, then logically, the best way to debunk it is to bring it to light so the public can rebuff it. As the saying goes, sunlight is, after all, the best disinfectant.
As someone who had never even heard of QAnon before, the concerted and coordinated effort to scrub traces of QAnon activities from social media seems a bit extreme. It makes me wonder why I’m not allowed to be exposed to these ideas. Naturally, I can’t help but ask, was “Q” actually right after all?