Despite being one of the most banned movements on social media, Facebook, Spotify, and Vimeo have announced new restrictions and crackdowns on QAnon.
Facebook announced today that it will be redirecting searches related to QAnon to “credible resources” from the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET) which is part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).
Facebook says that this change is part of its “Redirect Initiative” which currently redirects searches related to QAnon to GNET and searches related to white supremacy to Life After Hate – a non-profit that encourages people to leave hate groups.
Facebook claims that the addition of QAnon-related searches to this Redirect Initiative is “to help combat violent extremism.”
Yet the scope of this initiative that is supposedly meant to reduce violent extremism is very narrow.
Facebook’s page describing the initiative doesn’t list any groups that have been officially designated as terrorists or violent extremists by government bodies. Nor does it list any groups that have perpetrated terrorist attacks.
But now every time someone searches for QAnon or terms related to it, they’ll be redirected to a page that describes QAnon as “a decentralised violent ideology” in its opening sentence.
Spotify also framed QAnon as a violent movement earlier this week when it removed four QAnon podcasts from its platform.
X22 Report, Indigenous Mike, Praying Medic, and Pardon My American were removed Monday after the nonprofit Media Matters listed them in an article demanding that Spotify, Vimeo, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts “follow the lead of other tech companies and condemn and remove QAnon content from their platforms.”
Insider wrote that the podcasts were removed after it contacted Spotify for comment. Spotify told Insider that it “prohibits content on the platform that promotes, advocates or incites violence against others.”
And video-sharing platform Vimeo also removed several QAnon videos today after they were listed in the same Media Matters article and Insider contacted the platform for comment. A Vimeo spokesperson told Insider that QAnon videos violate its rules against “conspiracy theory-related content where the underlying conspiracy theory spreads, among other things, hate speech, large scale defamation, false or misleading vaccination or health-safety content.”
The mass crackdown on QAnon across Big Tech platforms has come after the mainstream media has consistently pressured social media platforms to censor the movement.
Several of the podcasts that were removed during this purge also had their YouTube channels deleted last week as part of a sudden YouTube crackdown on “harmful conspiracy theories.”
The censorship of QAnon has been so intense and far-reaching that even the fitness platform Peloton has cracked down on QAnon.