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Reddit bans QAnon subreddit
Reddit has banned a forum dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory, saying users repeatedly violated its content policies.
"As of September 12, r/greatawakening has been banned due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy," a Reddit spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. "We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites violence, disseminates personal information, or harasses will get users and communities banned from Reddit."
QAnon followers believe in a vague and far-reaching conspiracy theory that posits a "deep state" plot against President Trump and a vast pedophile ring among elites.
Their theories are spurred by a poster or a group of posters that goes by the pseudonym "Q."
The persona first posted on 4chan last year, claiming to be a high-ranking security official in the Trump administration, and has led to groups being created on Reddit as well as Facebook that boast thousands of members.
Q has pushed the unsubstantiated theory Trump was persuaded to run for president by military leaders and that together Trump and the officials are planning the arrests of "deep state" members in what Q and its followers call "The Storm."
Q's devotees generally support President Trump. They've given Q's posts a life of their own, spinning off additional theories about who is behind Q and what Q's messages - which they call "crumbs" - mean.
The movement initially began on the fringes of the internet, on less trafficked places like 4chan, but through Q theorists' ramped-up presence on Reddit and Facebook, the conspiracy theories have gained a cult following that's spilled over into the real world.
Noticeable numbers of Trump supporters have shown up to his rallies clad in Q gear.
Reddit's move to get rid of the critical Q group comes one day after it banned r/milliondollarextreme, according to BuzzFeed News, a subreddit for the sketch comedy group Million Dollar Extreme that is popular with the alt-right. The subreddit was one of the most popular on the site, sharing white supremacist and white nationalist content.
Over the past year, Reddit has taken more general steps to clean up its platform amid abuse and problematic content.
--Updated at4:20 p.m.