A key promoter for an upcoming rally for the QAnon conspiracy theory announced that she would be livestreaming the event on Periscope, even though the platform’s community guidelines prohibit encouraging violence, even “indirectly.” Some QAnon supporters have been connected to multiple violent crimes, including murders, and the conspiracy theory was recently labeled a potential domestic terror threat in an FBI intelligence bulletin.
Alysia Gamble, who posts on Twitter as @RedShiftReality and was tagged in a promotion by one of the rally’s main promoters, posted a video on September 4 to the Facebook event page for an upcoming QAnon rally in Washington, D.C. Along with announcing the lineup for the September 11 rally, Gamble said, “We will be livestreaming the event via the Periscope app,” adding that she would post a link on her Twitter account. Her Facebook video also included a link to her Periscope account, which appears from its description to have been set up specifically to livestream the rally.
According to its community guidelines, Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, prohibits content that “directly or indirectly threatens or encourages any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism,” adding, “This includes affiliating with organizations that - whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform - use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”
In May, an FBI field office memo listed QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat in an intelligence bulletin, noting, “The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.” Some supporters of the conspiracy theory have been linked to multiple acts of violence; one was accused of murdering his brother with a sword, and another of murdering an alleged crime boss. Supporters of the conspiracy theory also include a man who reportedly threatened to kill YouTube employees, an armed man who blocked the Hoover Dam with an armored vehicle, and a man who threatened to assassinate President Donald Trump. The conspiracy theory, which revolves around a 4chan-originated account called “Q” that originally claimed that Trump is working with special counsel Robert Mueller and others to take down the president’s perceived enemies and the “deep state,” has also become increasingly popular among border militias and anti-government groups.
Last month, the event management and ticketing website Eventbrite banned an RSVP page for the rally, along with any “future event associated with QAnon,” from using its platform. The announcement came after Media Matters noted that -- similar to Periscope’s community guidelines -- Eventbrite’s policies seem to prohibit QAnon content. Eventbrite prohibits “content or organizations that promote or encourage hate, violence, or harassment towards others and/or oneself” and content that “promotes or encourages hate or dangerous content.”