#minorsextrafficking | TikTok disables QAnon hashtags as platforms fight conspiracy theory


In the wake of Twitter’s sweeping ban on QAnon activity, TikTok has banned two popular hashtags associated with the conspiracy theory movement. 

The hashtag pages for both QAnon and WWG1WGA, the slogan for the conspiracy theory movement which stands for “Where we go one, we go all,” are now unsearchable, meaning that users cannot find related content using those hashtags. TikTok did not take action against videos or accounts using the hashtags. 

The news was first reported on Thursday by Catherine Sanz of ABC News, citing research conducted by Samuel Oakford of Storyful, a social media agency. A representative for TikTok did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment, but ABC News reported that the platform said QAnon content violated their guidelines.

Prior to the ban, which ABC News said went into effect overnight on Wednesday, the QAnon hashtag had more than 80 million views, and the slogan’s hashtag had more than 100 million views. 

A Google search for the two hashtag pages shows how many views they had before the ban.

Insider


The far-right conspiracy theory movement has continued to spread on social media since its invention in 2017, in the wake of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which falsely alleged Hillary Clinton, among other top Democrats, was involved in child sex trafficking. QAnon followers believe that a shadowy figure named Q is sending them online messages that give insight into how President Donald Trump will supposedly save the US from an alleged cabal of elites. They frequently promote unfounded or false conspiracy theories about celebrities and companies, alleging that they are involved in child sex trafficking. 

Both President Trump and his son, Eric Trump, have used social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to amplify the QAnon movement, often using rhetoric that’s popular within the community. 

The conspiracy theory movement has recently gained a massive platform on popular social media sites. In July, the unfounded claim that furniture company Wayfair was involved in child sex trafficking spread wildly on each social media platform, and was even picked up by celebrities with no prior connection to QAnon. The belief was so widespread that the non-profit that operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline said it’s been overwhelmed by the influx of Wayfair reports.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced it removed thousands of users spreading QAnon-related messages and misinformation, and would not allow QAnon topics to trend on the platform. Kate Conger of The New York Times reported that Facebook is preparing a similar move. A Facebook representative did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. 



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