NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THE DANGER OF #QANON’S RAVING ANTI-SATANISM–LEAST OF ALL TWITTER
Lately, a handful of big social media platforms–Facebook, TikTok, even fucking Reddit–took tiny steps against the fallout-like spread of #Qanon, the incredibly stupid but dangerous Anti-Satanist conspiracy spectrum that is digging away at the scaffolding of society like mutant termites.
Twitter made a particularly big show of it–which is appropriate given that over the past three years they’ve done everything to ensure the speedy and efficient spread of this terror movement except provide bomb-making supplies directly to the #Qultists.
In a statement, Twitter flacks vowed, “We will permanently suspend accounts tweeting about these topics or attempting to evade a previous suspension.”
Couple things: One, no they won’t. Two, what exactly took this long?
On the former point, anyone with sense enough to read this sentence knows that Twitter and other major social media outlets are completely uninterested in deplatforming violent right-wing movements. Giving those movements platforms has been their business model for over a decade, so who are we fooling?
#Qucks have been breaking Twitter’s terms of service for years and the site rarely bothers with enforcement, because Twitter rules are a fig leaf designed to make it look like they’re doing anything about their worst users except nothing at all. This is obvious to anyone who has ever used Twitter, so Twitter PR is presumably aimed only at non-users.
Meanwhile, ya know, it’s been two years since #Qanon-related terror attacks started with the Hoover Dam standoff. And it was over a year ago that a #Qrazed gunman shot a man on the street in Staten Island.
Turns out the victim there was mob boss Francesco Cali, so not really a big loss in humanitarian terms. But most companies might consider it a red flag that their service is radicalizing people to the level of first-degree murder and possibly inciting mob wars. Seems like something the shareholders might pay attention to.
Most observers aren’t really taking this as seriously as they should either. Even well-meaning commentators consistently soft-peddle the issue: Writing for MIT Technology Review, Abby Ohlheister refers to the #Qrackpots as a “continuously evolving pro-Trump conspiracy theory,” which is a bit like calling the Klan “a divisive regional pro-Confederacy group.”
Better terminology would be “Chan-based domestic terrorism network,” “burgeoning Internet death cult,” “apocalyptic religious movement centered on political totalitarianism,” and, most critical in our case, “hate group obsessed with Satanism.”
The latter point seems to be a particular blindspot, as almost never do news stories about #Qanon mention the #Qooks’ unhinged anti-Satanist rhetoric. It’s hard to miss: leeches spend less time thinking about blood than #Qranks do imagining Satanist conspiracies.
This is of course critical because, as we discussed just last week, the blood cult myth and the demonology of Anti-Satanism are persistent, well-established sociological and anthropological trends, and they have a predictable radicalizing effect.
Cultural anthropologist Phillip Stevens Jr’s 1991 paper “The Demonology of Satanism” studies the compulsion to shift blame for cultural ills onto an invisible evil force, often “a set of ideas [or] a pervasive ideology” that corrupts society from within.
Subscribers to these views will dehumanize their enemies to the point of deeming it necessary to remove them from society as aggressively as possible, even while disregarding their basic rights. “Demonology both sanctions and gives impetus to the persecutory social-cleansing movement” that follows, Stevens writes.
This is not a prediction: It’s an observation. Anyone can look at the historical trend. When credulous people start blaming their problems on the devil, we know which station that train is pulling into next. But this seems to just filter out of the wider public’s observations.
Lawfare’s Evelyn Douek frets that Twitter and the like pretending to do something about #Qanon signals “how powerful and unaccountable these companies are that they can change their policies in an instant and provide little by way of explanation.”
But in the old days, 100 percent of publishers would have declined to carry materials from ranting anti-Semites talking about how George Soros clones are eating kids’ brains. It wasn’t a power move, and no explanation was necessary.
The fact that Twitter has never had any standards/idea what it’s doing doesn’t make it radical if they feint at starting to now. For perspective, Silicon Valley long ago canned material by groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda–and not a word about free speech was uttered, funny that.
In fairness, Douek’s point is mostly that there’s no consistent standard about Twitter’s rules. Which, yeah, welcome to Twitter really. And this is where I can well imagine Satanists starting to fret, because when outlets become more restrictive it poses the question: What will happen when they do it to us?
Satanist religions are small, unpopular, poorly understood, and often intentionally provocative, so free speech absolutism (although a complete misnomer in cases like this) seems like a safe harbor. I used to believe this too, you know, “We have to defend the worst parties because that secures our protections too.”
But I was wrong. We can actually just cut out the middleman and defend ourselves directly, there’s no need to stump for Diet Nazis as part of some kind of long con about our own rights.
Especially since this attitude fosters movements that want to kill us all anyway, which is decidedly not a good tradeoff.
The thing about these people is: They’re not complicated. They’re not smart. They’re not savvy or deft communicators. There’s not a lot of layers to what they say. And what they say is that it’s us or them and that there can’t be any be any middle ground, just as Stevens predicted.
Well, I’m not the one who set the terms. But if that’s really the case, I’m pretty okay making the call.