Pinterest Is Still Hosting QAnon Content Despite Ban
A search for a widely used QAnon phrase was autocompleted by Pinterest’s search bar
Pinterest is the latest platform to enact a moderation policy specifically geared at QAnon, the far-right cult that began as an online conspiracy theory. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Pinterest told Insider that it will “proactively look for and remove content related to QAnon, in addition to taking action on content reported to us.”
As OneZero previously reported, Pinterest’s strategy for limiting the reach of problematic material stops at its search engine filter, which acts as a semi-porous wall for hiding such content, without always removing it. Insider reported that Pinterest has blocked search results for “QAnon” and “WWG1WGA,” referring to the cult’s slogan, “Where We Go One, We Go All.”
But OneZero searched for QAnon and QAnon-related terms while logged into Pinterest and found numerous keywords and content that had not been blocked or removed. A search for “WWG1WGA,” was autocompleted to “WWG1WWGA” by Pinterest’s search bar and returned results, an apparent workaround. Results for this term included pins tagged with #QAnon, #MAGA, and #14words, a prominent white supremacist slogan. Other terms that were autocompleted by Pinterest and produced search results were “We are the storm,” the “Great awakening,” “Q drops,” “Lock her up,” “Save the children,” “Take the oath,” and various phrases related to the “deep state.”
Only the term “QAnon” elicited a warning message on the platform, which states that “Pins about this topic often violate our community guidelines, so we’re currently unable to show search results.”
After OneZero notified Pinterest that “WWG1WWGA” was being recommended by the platform, the company removed the term from its search results, which now shows the same warning message about violating content.
“We disable search results for QAnon and WWG1WGA in addition to over a hundred related keywords, variations and misspellings,” a Pinterest spokesperson told OneZero. “Fighting misinformation is complex and always evolving, so we are constantly adding to and updating this list to keep our platform safe and inspiring.”