28 votes

Why QAnon is disappearing from online view

28 comments

  1. [19]
    joplin
    Link
    That's great news and shows how effective deplatforming strategies can be. I hope that it keeps up. It seems like a lot of these platforms are planning on reversing some of their policies now that...

    That's great news and shows how effective deplatforming strategies can be. I hope that it keeps up. It seems like a lot of these platforms are planning on reversing some of their policies now that they think the problem is over (which it clearly isn't). I hope they don't.

    18 votes
    1. [18]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      While following Q and misinformation has clearly led to some seriously harmful effects, I remain very wary of deplatforming as a tool. It can very easily be used to squelch legitimate dissent and...

      While following Q and misinformation has clearly led to some seriously harmful effects, I remain very wary of deplatforming as a tool. It can very easily be used to squelch legitimate dissent and important factual information. I would very much prefer we bring back the fairness doctrine instead.

      17 votes
      1. [12]
        nothis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        We tried a free and open web. It didn't work. All the zany teenagers on 4chan got what they wanted. Now the grown ups have to pick up the pieces and clean up their mess. That includes strict...

        We tried a free and open web. It didn't work. All the zany teenagers on 4chan got what they wanted. Now the grown ups have to pick up the pieces and clean up their mess. That includes strict moderation and censorship. If platforms realized this early enough, they could have done it themselves but now it seems to come through government intervention (moving at a typical glacial pace so it's late -- but also unstoppable). Look at them scrambling.

        I'm not saying any of this is healthy, I'm not denying the danger of things swapping into one direction too quickly. It's painful to hear myself call for censorship. But what else can we do? Those fuckers nearly overthrew the US government. I don't give a flying fuck about "internet culture" and "free information" idealism anymore, the party is over. There's a line between anything-goes culture and Chinese-style suppression. We have to find it and enforce it, at least for major, mainstream platforms.

        20 votes
        1. [4]
          GoingMerry
          Link Parent
          I personally don’t describe platform dominance by FB, Twitter, etc to be a “free and open” web. These are closed, centralized systems that were easily targeted by malicious actors. I think it’s an...

          I personally don’t describe platform dominance by FB, Twitter, etc to be a “free and open” web. These are closed, centralized systems that were easily targeted by malicious actors.

          I think it’s an important distinction to make because it doesn’t have to be either “free and open leading to government being overthrown“ and “strict moderation and censorship leading to safety”.

          Framing it this way feels disingenuous.

          12 votes
          1. [3]
            nothis
            Link Parent
            Fair enough. I think a lot of the concerns about overreaching censorship could be handled by limiting it to large, mainstream platforms of 10+ million users. There comes a responsibility with size.

            Fair enough. I think a lot of the concerns about overreaching censorship could be handled by limiting it to large, mainstream platforms of 10+ million users. There comes a responsibility with size.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              GoingMerry
              Link Parent
              I don’t disagree with you. I also think that consumer trends of privacy and decentralization are starting to take effect. Maybe we had to go through this to learn as a society the dangers in our...

              I don’t disagree with you. I also think that consumer trends of privacy and decentralization are starting to take effect.

              Maybe we had to go through this to learn as a society the dangers in our social media.

              3 votes
              1. teaearlgraycold
                Link Parent
                One hope I have is that social media will largely die once AI-generated content gets good enough. Will you want to go on Twitter and read anything but verified tweets once you know that any text...

                One hope I have is that social media will largely die once AI-generated content gets good enough. Will you want to go on Twitter and read anything but verified tweets once you know that any text could have been written by whatever GPT-3's successor is? It kinda sucks the fun out of social media if almost all of it may as well be fake. Why read Joe Schmoe's conspiracy hot take when you've heard from even Fox News that 90% of comments online are created by bots? We'll be back to the world our parents warned us about - "you can't trust anything you read online".

                The only alternative is to verify every identity on Twitter/Facebook/etc. Either way things should improve.

                5 votes
        2. keb
          Link Parent
          I think your comment is very US-centric, and although I live in the U.S., I never truly felt like my government was at the risk of being overthrown; in my opinion, this kind of sentiment is a...

          I think your comment is very US-centric, and although I live in the U.S., I never truly felt like my government was at the risk of being overthrown; in my opinion, this kind of sentiment is a byproduct of media and social media sensationalism. But aside from that, I recognize that I'm privileged enough to live in the U.S. where, despite whether I have access to free information or not, I enjoy a high standard of living. The free and open web is still very important to many outside the U.S.

          8 votes
        3. [2]
          post_below
          Link Parent
          I realize that 'teenagers' here is probably some sort of figure of speech... but it was adults who largely created and spread Qanon. I agree that deplatforming was the right response in this...

          I realize that 'teenagers' here is probably some sort of figure of speech... but it was adults who largely created and spread Qanon.

          I agree that deplatforming was the right response in this instance, I don't think it makes sense to use that as justification for all out censorship.

          I definitely don't think the free information (or free speech) party should be over.

          When it comes to information consumption, digestion and dissemination, we're all new at this global data network thing, and we all have growing up to do.

          When you catch yourself exaggerating beyond reason: "they almost overthrew the government", that's your sign that you're reacting from emotion, the same mechanism that drives things like Qanon. I know that could sound condescending, but I'm reasonably sure it's just true.

          6 votes
          1. nothis
            Link Parent
            I'm not denying emotion (my view is: if you do, you're kidding yourself) but I don't think I'm exaggerating. When I saw those livestreams of people chanting "hang Mike Pence" after literally...

            I'm not denying emotion (my view is: if you do, you're kidding yourself) but I don't think I'm exaggerating. When I saw those livestreams of people chanting "hang Mike Pence" after literally having stormed the capitol, I had chills run down my spine. And all of this can be tracked back to Qanon, with the "anon" part being obvious 4chan culture, which itself is a game in testing the limits of free speech. Congrats, the limits were found. Now what?

            To be fair, though, I'm using "free and open" sarcastically to refer to the kind of "we accept anything that's technically legal" approach to internet culture which absolutely was the prevailing ideal in the internet communities I grew up in and which ruined most of them (including reddit). Obviously things like Wikipedia, free software movements, open discussion forums with a minimum standard of civility (either culturally or, if larger, enforced through moderation) are a good thing and will continue to be a good thing.

            I'm mostly criticizing that 1s-or-0s approach to free speech which the internet arrogantly pushed while it was just a bunch of nerds who could do little damage. It is now abused by literal fascists (as you pointed out, not just teenagers anymore but I'm continually surprised how well that stereotype still holds). You can have a beautiful ideal but once it collides with reality, it collides with politics, you have to consider the ugly exceptions doing more damage than the ideal does good. It's like: Somebody ruined the party. Accept it. Take counter measures.

            7 votes
        4. [4]
          NoblePath
          Link Parent
          I can really relate to that sentiment. And I also question whether it’s really working, I think it’s far too soon to see and understand the consequences of the moderation approach. I still say...

          I can really relate to that sentiment.

          And I also question whether it’s really working, I think it’s far too soon to see and understand the consequences of the moderation approach.

          I still say education (through a modern implementation of the fairness doctrine or similar) is a more robust and first amendment-compatible approach.

          For better or worse, q supporters are dissenting voices, and it seems really scary to me to simply try to silence them.

          5 votes
          1. [3]
            joplin
            Link Parent
            This has nothing to do with silencing dissenting voices. It's about silencing violent calls to action. They can dissent all they want. When they started calling for murdering politicians, it went...

            This has nothing to do with silencing dissenting voices. It's about silencing violent calls to action. They can dissent all they want. When they started calling for murdering politicians, it went from dissent to insurrection. When they plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan, it went from dissent to insurrection. When they started running through the capitol with zip ties and guns it went from being dissent to being insurrection.

            8 votes
            1. petrichor
              Link Parent
              I think the undertone of this thread is that whatever anyone may make of QAnon, the same techniques that have kicked them from having an internet presence can be applied to political dissenters...

              I think the undertone of this thread is that whatever anyone may make of QAnon, the same techniques that have kicked them from having an internet presence can be applied to political dissenters and marginalized groups.

              7 votes
            2. NoblePath
              Link Parent
              Tfa discussed q content generally, not just stuff that was violent in nature. I can certainly agree that calls to violence against individuals should be restricted. But i disagree that claims...

              Tfa discussed q content generally, not just stuff that was violent in nature. I can certainly agree that calls to violence against individuals should be restricted. But i disagree that claims about 5g causing cancer (or even covid) should be. They should be accompanied by messaging that qualifies their untruthful nature, but they should not be eliminated altogether.

              2 votes
      2. [5]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I don't think bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would have any impact on movements native to social media like QAnon. If anything, it would further fuel their narrative that the media is...

        I don't think bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would have any impact on movements native to social media like QAnon. If anything, it would further fuel their narrative that the media is controlled by a shadowy cabal of pedophile communist vampire lizards.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          NoblePath
          Link Parent
          Maybe in its prior form. But it could be reimagined in a way appropriate to commercial internet media. Even then it may drive a wedge for some, but at least they would be exposed to a different view.

          Maybe in its prior form. But it could be reimagined in a way appropriate to commercial internet media.

          Even then it may drive a wedge for some, but at least they would be exposed to a different view.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            I don't think the FCC (or any government entity) regulating what people can say on social media will ever go well. And frankly, it's a can of worms I don't think anyone should want to open....

            I don't think the FCC (or any government entity) regulating what people can say on social media will ever go well. And frankly, it's a can of worms I don't think anyone should want to open. Regardless, there isn't much of a discussion to be had there, seeing as such laws would be actual violations of the first amendment.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Diff
              Link Parent
              I don't think that's what a modern fairness doctrine would look like. Right now it doesn't matter what people say on social media, it matters how the social media filters and organizes what people...

              I don't think that's what a modern fairness doctrine would look like. Right now it doesn't matter what people say on social media, it matters how the social media filters and organizes what people say. I think a modern fairness doctrine would be best aimed at popping filter bubbles rather than anything else. Don't purely optimize for engagement regardless of merit or factuality.

              6 votes
              1. NoblePath
                Link Parent
                I think that’s a step in the right direction. For every item in your feed that seems to reflectyour predilection, there follows the oppositie view. At least with regard to any controversial issue...

                I think that’s a step in the right direction. For every item in your feed that seems to reflectyour predilection, there follows the oppositie view. At least with regard to any controversial issue if substance. For example, you don’t need to be exposed to pepsi materials if you like a coke post. But you do need to get exposed to the truth if you say beef products are bbq.

                2 votes
  2. [7]
    KapteinB
    Link
    Are they still silent? BTW, is there a place for sane people to keep track of this lunacy? I sometimes get curious, but I don't particularly want to engage with cultists directly.

    "Q," the shadowy figure whose posts kicked off the conspiracy theory, went silent.

    Are they still silent?

    BTW, is there a place for sane people to keep track of this lunacy? I sometimes get curious, but I don't particularly want to engage with cultists directly.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      streblo
      Link Parent
      This guy runs a qanon podcast. I haven't listened to much of it, but his twitter feed is pretty useful for keeping up with the whole thing without having to wade through the shit.

      This guy runs a qanon podcast. I haven't listened to much of it, but his twitter feed is pretty useful for keeping up with the whole thing without having to wade through the shit.

      11 votes
      1. nothis
        Link Parent
        God, I hope this will be the new direction, lol. Make all those idiots focus on that instead, it's entertaining and harmless. Unless they find a way to blame minorities for it. And who am I...

        Ron Watkins, the guy suspected of posting as Q on 8kun, has announced his new project: AlienLeaks. To describe the project, he says "Think wikileaks, but aliens instead of clinton emails."

        God, I hope this will be the new direction, lol. Make all those idiots focus on that instead, it's entertaining and harmless. Unless they find a way to blame minorities for it. And who am I kidding, they will.

        8 votes
    2. [2]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      There's a sub /r/Qult_Headquarters. Of course, mostly mocking, but it is QAnon, after all. Mostly posts from the dot win site - you could also try that directly, although a) it's ofc a toxic...

      There's a sub /r/Qult_Headquarters. Of course, mostly mocking, but it is QAnon, after all. Mostly posts from the dot win site - you could also try that directly, although a) it's ofc a toxic cesspool b) very surreal, sometimes I wonder if it isn't at least half different trolls trolling each other like that old joke about KKK meetings being the best place to meet FBI agents.

      5 votes
      1. novov
        Link Parent
        QAA is indeed a great podcast. I'm personally a subscriber to the premium episodes and highly recommend it.

        QAA is indeed a great podcast. I'm personally a subscriber to the premium episodes and highly recommend it.

    3. [2]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      This report discusses where QAnon members went after Q got deplatformed....
      3 votes
      1. KapteinB
        Link Parent
        Thanks! Looks like these folks did their homework. If I'm reading this correctly, Q was still absent when this report was published, which I guess was early May.

        Thanks! Looks like these folks did their homework.

        If I'm reading this correctly, Q was still absent when this report was published, which I guess was early May.

        2 votes
  3. RNG
    Link
    The QAnon movement reminds me a lot of the Harold Camping end times cult. I don't think anything has hurt the QAnon movement more than their "Judgement Day" failing to happen. Judgement Day: the...

    The QAnon movement reminds me a lot of the Harold Camping end times cult.

    I don't think anything has hurt the QAnon movement more than their "Judgement Day" failing to happen. Judgement Day: the day the pedophile cabal (Hollywood & the Dems) are finally publicly humiliated and charged for their crimes, the day Trump ascends and reveals his master plan and all of the machinations working behind the scenes. It's the day the deep state is destroyed.

    It's the day that you get to prove to your grandkids and coworkers that you weren't crazy, that you had access to hidden knowledge, and now no one can deny the truth. Imagine believing this and seeing the day approaching: you must be filled with excitement, anticipation, to finally be proven right. But you get disappointed when Jan 6th doesn't work out. Then January 20th comes and goes, no judgement day. Then March 4th.

    Failed end times predictions destroy the cults that build around them. QAnon is tethered to these predictions. It's falling out of popularity because it's followers have been thoroughly humiliated. They see QAnon for what we've seen it for all along.

    6 votes
  4. Octofox
    Link
    Perhaps people stopped caring after nothing predicted came true.

    Perhaps people stopped caring after nothing predicted came true.

    3 votes