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Triller follows TikTok in banning QAnon conspiracy content

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Triller follows TikTok in banning QAnon conspiracy content 2

Triller, the short-form video app aggressively competing for a piece of TikTok’s pie, has belatedly followed its rival in attempting to ban content relating to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

According to a report by Insider, the company has said it will not allow QAnon content going forward, and hashtags #QAnon and #QAnonBeliever have been disabled on the app. Mashable confirmed that while those tag searches appear empty, other hashtags popular with the theory’s adherents, including #q, #WWG1WGA and other workaround tags, were still surfacing QAnon content.

QAnon is a cultish, baseless conspiracy theory whose followers believe that President Trump is actually a leader in a secret war against a worldwide cabal of celebrities and politicians who engage in human trafficking, as claimed by a series of anonymous posts on messageboards including 4chan and 8kun. The FBI considers the “movement” to be a domestic terrorism threat

“We are a platform that believes in freedom of speech, expression, open discussion and freedom of opinion, however when the government classifies something as a terrorist threat we must take action to protect our community,” Triller CEO Mike Lu said in a statement provided to Insider. 

Triller is just the latest platform to crack down on Q content. That list includes Twitter — which began its efforts in earnest in July this year with sweeping bans and account suspensions — and Facebook, Etsy, and even Peloton, all of which announced measures design to limit the theory’s spread this month. TikTok put a soft ban on QAnon in July, making certain hashtags unsearchable but not banning them outright.

Triller’s leadership had previously resisted calls to take steps agains QAnon content. Majority owner Ryan Kavanaugh told the New York Times just last week that the company was disinclined to moderate with a heavier hand, echoing language employed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when it came to politically charged topics and misinformation on his platform.

“Our view is if it’s not illegal, if it’s not unethical, it doesn’t harm a group, and it’s not against our terms of service, we’re not going to filter or ban it,” Kavanaugh told the Times. “I personally have a huge problem with tech companies being an arbiter of truth. We don’t pick a side in anything, we’re about freedom of speech.”

Mashable has reached out to Triller for comment.

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