TikTok has disabled QAnon hashtags

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TikTok has taken steps to make it more difficult to find QAnon conspiracy content.


Angela Lang/CNET

Following a Twitter crackdown on thousands of accounts spreading the QAnon conspiracy theory, Chinese-owned social media/video app TikTok has unleashed a crackdown of its own, banning two specific QAnon related hashtags on the service.

The QAnon hashtag is no longer searchable using TikTok, alongside another hashtag using a popular QAnon slogan, reports the ABC.

QAnon is a fringe conspiracy theory centred around a supposed plot by the “deep state” against Donald Trump that has origins in the message 4chan. 

Whereas Twitter’s crackdown impacted around 150,000 Twitter accounts, TikTok’s actions have taken down a hashtag that has — to date — around 80 million views. But only the ability to search using the hashtag has been removed. Videos containing content focused on QAnon still exists on TikTok, it’s just much more difficult to find, as a result of the hashtag ban.

This news comes as many western countries are considering TikTok bans. Citing national security concerns, many governments — including the US and Australia — are concerned the Chinese government might have sway over the app. India has already banned TikTok for being “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

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