Patreon is joining the ranks of tech companies cracking down on QAnon. Bloomberg reports the crowdfunding site is banning accounts “dedicated” to promoting the discredited conspiracy theory, while others that have pushed some QAnon content (but aren’t devoted to it) will have to alter their behavior to remain on the service. Projects that merely mention QAnon or are focused on analzying the conspiracy shouldn’t face any issues, Patreon said.
The company said it would “reach out” to affected users in the coming days.
This move is in response to other internet companies being “overrun” with the theory’s followers and spreading dangerous “disinformation,” according to Patreon. QAnon has routinely made unsupported allegations of sex trafficking and other crimes, and in multiple cases has been linked to real-world violence and threats.
Patreon didn’t waste much time in starting its sweep. Bloomberg found that Patreon had removed numerous larger QAnon campaigns, and the site was already reviewing those that remained.
The conspiracy’s adherents have routinely complained that they were being unfairly censored with previous bans. However, Patreon’s effort could easily lead to louder objections — it’s cutting off funding for QAnon proponents, and there’s no guarantee they’ll find alternatives. If the ban holds, it could have a ripple effect on supporters’ attempts to spread the theory on other sites.