After platforms like Facebook and Twitter started throttling down QAnon content, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Lab say that the conspiracy theory's online influence has greatly diminished.
Popular QAnon phrases including "the storm," "the great awakening," "save the children" and "WWG1WGA (Where we go one we go all)" became increasingly prevalent online in March 2020 and peaked in June 2020 as racial justice protests took place, and then spiked again before the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. According to Axios, other factors played a role in the conspiracy cult's diminished influence, such as posts from the shadowy figure "Q" going silent and Trump's election loss, which cause many QAnon believers to be frustrated.
"Of all factors... reductions correlated most strongly with social media actions taken by Facebook, Twitter, and Google to limit or remove QAnon content," the researchers wrote. "Actions taken by Twitter after the January 6 attack on the Capitol correlates strongly with a dampening of what remained of traditional QAnon chatter at the time."
Contributing to the conspiracy theory's waning influence was the fact that right-wing-focused Parler and Gab social networks did not inherit the volume of QAnon content that was pushed off mainstream social media platforms.
"Moderation actions after the Capitol attack were particularly effective in stomping down what remained of QAnon chatter online," said Jared Holt, resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. "The data shows the companies didn't act... until it was exploding off the charts."
Read more at Axios.