TikTok will block QAnon hashtags but not remove related videos
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
TikTok has blocked several hashtags related to the QAnon conspiracy theory, but won’t be removing the videos using the hashtags from its platform, the BBC reported. The video sharing app has blocked the terms “QAnon,” “QAnonTruth” and the related phrase “Out of Shadows,” which are used by QAnon believers.
But as the BBC reports, the QAnon videos themselves could still appear among TikTok’s For You suggestions or in users’ feeds, even if the hashtags are no longer visible.
TikTok did not immediately reply to a request for comment Saturday.
Other platforms have taken a harder stance against QAnon material; earlier this week Twitter announced it was banning 7,000 accounts, blocking QAnon-related links, and put restrictions on 150,000 more accounts. Twitter will no longer promote the accounts or highlight them as trending topics. Facebook removed several groups and pages promoting QAnon back in April, saying they were engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Roku yanked a QAnon channel from its platform, and Reddit banned the QAnon subreddit r/GreatAwakening for violating its rules against “inciting violence, harassment, and the dissemination of personal information.”
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that claims, among other things, that President Donald Trump is secretly planning to arrest high-profile Democratic politicians and celebrities for pedophilia or cannibalism. About a dozen Republican candidates for office have expressed support for QAnon, and several of its followers have been accused of violent acts.