QAnon is increasingly spreading on LinkedIn as members continue to identify as supporters. However, LinkedIn, like other social media sites, isn’t happy about it and is taking measures to reduce the spread of the movement through censorship.
Some LinkedIn members have been updating their professional profiles to indicate they support the Q movement and are liking and sharing related posts.
Despite social media platforms suppressing supporters in recent months, it’s believed that the number of Q movement supporters is in the millions and could, in fact, be growing.
According to a US survey, 56% of Republicans believe that QAnon is mostly or partly true.
But the Microsoft-owned professional networking platform has noticed the trend and is taking measures to reduce the spread of the support.
“QAnon misinformation is not tolerated on LinkedIn,” a spokesperson told the WSJ.
The movement has become so popular that people feel it is worth discussing on LinkedIn. Some users have put the hashtag #wwg1wga, which stands for “where we go one, we go all,” on their profiles. Those who have done that have gotten connection requests from other QAnon supporters who want to network and connect with like-minded users.
“If you believe anything, but you fear the label that’s going to be put on you, that’s the definition of coward,” said Burkeley Rupp, a user who identified as a QAnon supporter on his LinkedIn profile last year.
Rupp said that he had received multiple connection requests from other supporters on LinkedIn, and some have even become customers for his salon business in Southern California.
According to reports studying the QAnon movement, its popularity has grown due to the lockdowns. Now, social media companies are left with the challenge of curbing what they think is misinformation while also being cautious not to be accused of censorship.
Facebook’s curb of QAnon-related posts and groups, for example, has had further consequences, “accidentally” deleting groups and accounts of those who weren’t even connected to the QAnon movement – and even those who were actually condemning QAnon supporters at the time of their posting.
LinkedIn’s “trust and safety” team, led by Paul Rockwell, started noticing increased QAnon activity over the past few months. Using AI, the team has been actively removing posts containing what they decide is misinformation and banning people who ignore community guidelines. LinkedIn has also disabled searches for popular Q movement hashtags such as #wwg1wga.
However, the company said it would not ban users who have put QAnon slogans on their profiles, or those discussing QAnon topics in the private messaging system.
“There are lines that we have to draw,” Rockwell said. “But if users start publicly sharing misleading QAnon content, that’s where we step in.”