On July 21, Twitter announced it would begin taking measures to remove accounts connected to the QAnon conspiracy theory. However, several political candidates, many with the Verified blue checkmark, still remain active.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Congressional candidate from rural Georgia, won her primary and could potentially win a seat in the House. Greene, who is currently still active and Verified on Twitter, has tweeted Anti-Semitic tropes and often uses QAnon signaling words like “cabal”and “globalism”, while also pushing the conspiracy that George Soros is paying certain people to protest against the government. Greene also believes black people enjoyed being slaves and that celebrities such as Tom Hanks are involved in worldwide child trafficking. More recently, she has participated in pushing the conspiracy that wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19 is just a way for “child sex traffickers” to recognize each other.
While such opinions might seem so outlandish one might wonder how anyone could believe any of it, the QAnon numbers are growing at a troubling rate. Considering its roots are in a thread started on the dark website 4Chan, it’s easy to dismiss as just another fringe group. But when there are at least fourteen Q candidates running for office this year, Twitter’s promise to crack down on misinformation needs to be taken with a lot more gravity and taken care of with a lot more expediency.
While the onus should truly be on GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, there’s little he can do to prevent them from spreading their message. Several prominent Republicans have taken it upon themselves to start calling out the QAnons among them, most notably Adam Kizinger of Illinois and Denver Riggleman of Virginia, both of whom have tweeted to QAnon candidates and have received nothing but criticism from within their own party as a result.
“QAnon is the mental gonorrhea of conspiracy theories. It’s disgusting and you want to get rid of it as fast as possible.” @RepKinzinger @politico @Mzanona. #Qanon is right there with people who believe the moon landing was faked, alien abduction is real and Marxism has merit. https://t.co/jeANZUw6Pf
— Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) August 13, 2020
If Twitter is going to reneg on its mission to remove the more prominent QAnon accounts, it should add a disclaimer to every tweet from any Verified Q Candidate that they represent QAnon, with a link to a site that debunks the QAnon’s every last conspiracy.