With the announcement of Elon Musk’s new Twitter Blue subscription service as a replacement for the social media platform's existing account verification process, promoters of the QAnon conspiracy theory have seen a way to regain a presence on the platform.
Following his acquisition of Twitter on October 27, Musk announced the Twitter Blue subscription service, which will allow users to pay an $8 monthly fee for a blue check mark. The blue check mark originally designated a verified account, but according to Musk, it will now boost subscribers' posts, among other benefits. The service was seemingly rolled out on November 5 with a software update, but has now reportedly been delayed until November 9 due to concern that it would be misused prior to Election Day.
In July 2020, Twitter suspended thousands of accounts dedicated to sharing content related to the QAnon conspiracy theory. However, Musk’s bid to buy Twitter in April and subsequent acquisition of the platform in October seemingly gave a green light to QAnon users to create new accounts and promote the dangerous conspiracy theory. In fact, Media Matters found that nearly 50% of all accounts tweeting QAnon terms between October 21-31 were created after April 1, and prominent QAnon supporters such as influencer collective We The Media and conspiracy theorists Jordan Sather and The Authority returned to Twitter after Musk’s acquisition.
Now, QAnon supporters across a number of fringe right-wing social media platforms are seeking to have their accounts reinstated and verified under Musk’s new Twitter Blue subscription service, all while encouraging their followers to return to the platform and revealing plans to use the benefits of Twitter Blue to push conspiracy theories.
Some QAnon accounts are looking to subscribe to Twitter Blue to get back on Twitter
In their return to Twitter, some QAnon accounts have sought verification through the Twitter Blue service, often posting about their return on fringe social media platforms. Others have looked to the recent firings at Twitter as a sign that moderation will be lessened and they’ll be allowed back on the platform.
Despite Musk’s stated plans for Twitter Blue making no mention of reversals for existing suspensions, some QAnon figures have attempted to use the new service as a means to reactivate their old accounts, with one influencer claiming that they “signed up for Twitter blue and it went through” even though they’re suspended.
A QAnon influencer is instructing followers on how to evade suspensions
In the push to reclaim QAnon’s footprint on Twitter, at least one QAnon influencer posted a guide on how to set up accounts in ways that would allow suspended users to open up new ones.
They also called for QAnon supporters to flood Twitter with conspiracy theories and misinformation to the point of overpowering the platform's moderation systems.