QAnon has receded from social media- but it’s just hiding – News Vibe24

    QAnon has receded from social media- but it's just hiding - Times of India
    On the other hand, you might think that the QAnon conspiracy has largely disappeared from major social media sites. But this is not the case.
    It is true that you are much less likely to find popular QAnon phrases like “big wake up”, “storm” or “trust in the plan” on Facebook these days. Facebook and Twitter have removed tens of thousands of accounts dedicated to baseless conspiracy theories, which portray former President Donald Trump as a hero fighting a secret battle against a cult of pedophiles who worship the devil who dominates Hollywood. media and government.
    The huge “Stop Theft” groups that are spreading falsely for the 2020 presidential elections in the USA are gone. Trump is also gone, permanently banned from Twitter and suspended from posting on Facebook until 2023.
    But QAnon is far from over. Federal intelligence officials recently warned that her supporters could commit more violence, such as the deadly Capitol Uprising on January 6. At least one outspoken supporter of QAnon has been elected to Congress. In the four years since someone called themselves “Q” and started posting enigmatic messages on the sidelines of the Internet, QAnon has grown.
    This is partly because QAnon now includes a variety of conspiracy theories, from evangelical or religious angles to alleged pedophilia in Hollywood and the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, said Jared Holt, a DFRLab resident of the Atlantic-centric Atlantic Council. “The Q-specific stuff is declining,” he said. But the worldviews and conspiracy theories that QAnon absorbs are still with us.
    The loose connection of these movements is a general distrust of a strong, often left-wing elite. Among the suppliers of counterfeit vaccine items, Trump’s “Big Lie” supporters that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen, and adherents of almost any other worldview convinced that a shadowy group was secretly controlling things.
    For social platforms, tackling this faceless, changing and increasingly popular mentality is a much more complex challenge than they have faced in the past.
    These ideologies “have frozen their place and are now part of American folklore,” said Max Rizzuto, another DFRLab researcher. “I do not think we will ever see him disappear.”
    On the internet, such groups are now being combined in the background. Where Facebook groups once openly mentioned QAnon, you will now see others like “Since you lost it in the so-called MSM”, a reference to the mainstream media. This page has more than 4,000 followers who post links to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson clips and links to articles from right-wing publications such as Newsmax and the Daily Wire.
    The issues range from allegedly rampant crime to baseless allegations of widespread electoral fraud and an “absolute war against the Conservatives.” Such groups aim to attract in-depth followers by directing them to more information on less regulated sites such as Gab or Parler.
    When DFRLab analyzed more than 40 million QAnon phrases and related terms on social media this spring, it found that their presence on mainstream platforms had dropped significantly in recent months. Following peaks in late summer 2020 and soon on January 6, QAnon phrases have largely evaporated from major sites, according to DFRLab.
    So while your friends and relatives may not post savage conspiracies about Hillary Clinton drinking blood for children, they could reiterate claims that vaccines can change your DNA.
    There are several reasons for the decline in Q – Trump loses the presidential election, for example. But the only major factor seems to have been QAnon’s crackdown on Facebook and Twitter. Despite the well-documented mistakes that revealed bad enforcement, the abolition seems to have worked to a large extent. It is more difficult to find blatant QAnon accounts on major social media sites these days, at least from publicly available data that does not include, for example, hidden Facebook groups and private messages.
    But while QAnon groups, pages, and core accounts may be gone, many of their supporters remain on the big platforms – only now are they camouflaging their language and weakening QAnon’s most extreme principles to make them more palatable.
    “There has been a very, very explicit effort in the QAnon community to cover their language,” said Angelo Carusone, president and CEO of Media Matters, a liberal research team that has followed QAnon’s rise. “So they stopped using a lot of the codes, the scandals, the keywords that caused the kinds of enforcement actions against them.”
    Others may also have helped avoid it. Instead of parroting the Q slogans, for example, for a little earlier this year, supporters would type three asterisks next to their name to signify conspiracy theories. (This is a nod to Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, a three-star general).
    Facebook says it has removed about 3,300 pages, 10,500 groups, 510 events, 18,300 Facebook profiles and 27,300 Instagram accounts for violating its QAnon policy. “We continue to consult with experts and improve our enforcement in response to how the damage is evolving, even from relapsing groups,” the company said in a statement.
    However, the social giant will continue to cut people who post about QAnon slack, citing experts who warn that banning individual Q followers “could lead to further social isolation and danger,” the company said. Facebook’s policies and response to QAnon continue to evolve. Since last August, the company says it has added dozens of new terms as its movement and language has evolved.
    Twitter, meanwhile, says it has taken consistent action against activities that could lead to offline harm. Following the January 6 uprising, the company began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that it said were “primarily dedicated” to sharing QAnon hazardous material. Twitter said it had suspended 150,000 such accounts to date. Like Facebook, the company says its response is evolving as well.
    But repression may have arrived too late. Carusone, for example, noted that Facebook banned QAnon groups linked to the violence six weeks before banning QAnon more widely. This essentially alerted fans to regroup, cover and move around on different platforms.
    “If there was ever a time for a social media company to take a stand on QAnon content, it would be like months, years ago,” said Rizzuto of DFRLabs.

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