Update (10/28/20): SoundCloud seems to have removed 11 out of 15 examples of content or users Media Matters flagged in this report as pushing QAnon.
Users and content promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory have circulated on online audio-distribution platform SoundCloud, even though the platform’s content policies explicitly bar extremist content.
The conspiracy theory, which revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q,” is centered on far-right message board 8chan (since relaunched as 8kun) and is premised on the false claim that President Donald Trump is part of a secret plot to take down a cabal of pedophiles (which includes Democrats) and the “deep state.” Multiple adherents to the conspiracy theory have been tied to acts of violence, including multiple murders and attempted kidnappings, and it has been embraced by militia groups. An FBI field office released a memo in May 2019 that listed QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat.
The conspiracy theory’s ties to extremism seem to make its promotion a clear violation of SoundCloud’s policies. In its content policies section, the platform has a section saying it is “not acceptable to use SoundCloud to share illegal material, or content related to extremist ideologies.” The platform also prohibits content that “promotes or incites violence against others.”
Nevertheless, a review by Media Matters found accounts and content promoting QAnon throughout the platform, with content and users specifically mentioning QAnon and “wwg1wga,” short for the QAnon slogan, “Where we go one, we go all,” as well as another QAnon hashtag, “SaveOurChildren.” The platform even has a hashtag page for the QAnon slogan. (There is some content on the platform about QAnon, such as the QAnon Anonymous Podcast, that reports on the conspiracy theory’s spread and does not violate any of the platform’s policies. Also, some content mentioning “QAnon” appears to not be about the conspiracy theory.)