- Amazon is beginning to removing items relating to far-right conspiracy theory QAnon from its site, the New York Times reported.
- Amazon, which booted Parler from its cloud services earlier this week, listed more than 1,000 items related to QAnon as recently as October.
- The move comes months after ecommerce site Etsy already banned products related to the conspiracy theory, and as social platforms like Facebook and Twitter take stronger action against it.
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After booting right-wing social media app Parler from its cloud services this week, Amazon has now started removing items related to baseless conspiracy theory QAnon from its site.
Amazon, whose products are often sold through third-party sellers, had more than 1,000 items related to the conspiracy as of October. Children’s Halloween costumes, books, and T-shirts with the letter “Q” or acronym “WWGIWGA,” which stands for “Where we go one, we go all.” The removal will take several days, and sellers that attempt to list these products will be subject to action, including potential removal of selling privileges, Amazon said.
QAnon is a baseless far-right conspiracy theory that claims President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a “deep state” cabal of human traffickers. In 2019, the FBI called QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat, and the movement has been linked to several crimes.
In its seller policies, Amazon states it does not allow items that “promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organisations with such views.” The product removal at Amazon comes months after Etsy, Google, TikTok, and Facebook began to crack down on pages related to QAnon.
QAnon supporters were a visible presence during the attack on the US Capitol last week that left five dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. As rioters violently invaded the Capitol, signs and apparel showed QAnon designs similar to those that have been sold on Amazon.
A QAnon follower who dubbed himself the “Q Shaman” was prominently featured in news coverage of the insurrection. The man, later identified as Jacob Anthony Chansley, wore a horned helmet and red, white, and blue face paint. He walked through the Capitol halls with a megaphone and took photos on the Senate dais. The Department of Justice arrested him days later.
In the weeks leading up to January 6, QAnon figures and other far-right extremists had been planning the violence publicly on popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, sites like Parler and Gab, and niche forums like TheDonald. Before that, the group had been sowing doubt about the presidential election, calling President-elect Joe Biden win fraudulent, Insider’s Rachel Greenspan reported.
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