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TikTok is banning accounts that share QAnon-related content

Videos promoting the conspiracy theory violate the service's disinformation policy.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
October 19, 2020
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CULVER, Sept. 28, 2020 -- Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2020 shows a logo of the video-sharing social networking company TikTok's Los Angeles Office in Culver City, Los Angeles County, the United States. A federal judge on Sunday decided to halt the Trump administration's ban on the popular video-sharing app TikTok, just a few hours before the controversial ban is set to take effect. (Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

TikTok is taking more action against users who promote the QAnon conspiracy theory. The service, which has blocked hashtags related to the movement since July, has extended its ban to all accounts and videos that share QAnon disinformation.

"Content and accounts that promote QAnon violate our disinformation policy and we remove them from our platform," a TikTok spokesperson told NPR in a statement. "We've also taken significant steps to make this content harder to find across search and hashtags by redirecting associated terms to our Community Guidelines."

Those guidelines prohibit disinformation that "causes harm to individuals, our community or the larger public." The service’s current QAnon policy has been in place for “a while,” it told Forbes. TikTok first clarified its stance to Media Matters for America. An investigation by that watchdog unearthed more hashtags that QAnon supporters have used to spread disinformation.

The likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and even Peloton have also taken steps to stamp out QAnon material on their networks.

TikTok, meanwhile, has been a target of the Trump administration in recent months. The service’s owner, ByteDance, teamed up with Oracle in an attempt to stave off a ban on the app in the US, but that doesn’t seem to have worked.

The White House has filed an appeal against an injunction that blocked it from banning downloads of the app. A separate order from the administration remains in place, which requires ByteDance to find a US owner for TikTok by November 12th or stop operating the video-sharing service in the country.

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