Patreon is banning QAnon conspiracy theorists, joining a growing group of tech companies taking action against the movement

Rachel E. Greenspan
·3 min read
QAnon phones
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up their phones with messages referring to the QAnon conspiracy theory at a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Center on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Patreon, the membership platform where fans can support creators through subscriptions, announced Thursday that the QAnon conspiracy theory would be banned. 

  • A Media Matters for America reporter recently found that 14 QAnon-related influencers were using Patreon to make money. 

  • As of Thursday morning, soon after the company's blog post, some of those creators were still available on Patreon, but the platform removed them later in the afternoon. 

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Patreon is the latest tech company to take action on the QAnon conspiracy theory, announcing in a blog post Thursday morning that creators promoting the movement would be banned from the platform.

Patreon, a membership platform that lets fans support creators and celebrities financially through subscriptions, previously hosted 14 QAnon influencers on the platform, according to a recent report from the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America (MMFA). 

QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory that alleges President Donald Trump is fighting a deep-state cabal of human traffickers, has recently been banned or limited by Facebook, YouTube, Etsy, Spotify, Triller, and several other platforms

While many QAnon followers base their beliefs on "Q drops" from an anonymous "Q" figure on the messageboard 8kun, the movement is now spread by QAnon influencers who analyze and explain the "Q drops" for their followers. 

Patreon creators who used the platform to earn money included some of the movement's top influencers, MMFA found, including Patriots Soapbox, Sean Morgan, Praying Medic, and InTheMatrixxx, all of which were already banned from YouTube. 

As of Thursday morning, soon after the company published its blog post, those four creators were still up and running on Patreon with QAnon references in their profiles. By Thursday afternoon, the four users were taken down from the platform. 

The influencer known as InTheMatrixxx, who has more than 200,000 Twitter followers despite Twitter's QAnon policy, tweeted about the removal, saying, "Is this America?" and telling followers they could support him through PayPal. 

Patreon said that creators who have been identified by Patreon's Policy and Trust and Safety teams as QAnon-specific will be removed, but those "who have propagated some QAnon content, but are not dedicated to spreading QAnon disinformation, will have the opportunity to bring their campaigns into compliance with our updated guidelines." 

The company cited other platforms' QAnon moderation plans as part of their decision.

"While Patreon does not propagate this content directly, there are a small number of creators on the platform who have supported the QAnon conspiracy theory with their work. Because of this, and the fact that we have seen a number of other online platforms become overrun with pages and groups actively focused around QAnon disinformation, we are taking action," the platform said.

This story has been updated to show that Patreon profiles for InTheMatrixxx, Patriots Soapbox, Praying Medic, and Sean Morgan were taken down. 

Read the original article on Business Insider