Peloton removed QAnon hashtags from its platform as tech companies grapple with the conspiracy theory movement

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Peloton removed QAnon hashtags from its platform as tech companies grapple with the conspiracy theory movement
Peloton
  • A Peloton spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the fitness brand removed tags related to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
  • Users of the at-home workout platform can connect with users by following the same tags. A Tuesday tweet from a Washington Post editor showed that two tags associated with QAnon were available in classes.
  • "Peloton was built on community, inclusivity, and being the best version of yourself," the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the company continually moderates tags and behavior in its online community.

Peloton has removed tags related to the QAnon conspiracy theory from their at-home fitness platform in accordance with policies prohibiting "hateful content," a spokesperson told Insider.

QAnon is the baseless far-right conspiracy theory that claims President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers.

Questions surrounding whether Peloton permitted QAnon rhetoric on its platform came about after Drew Goins, an assistant opinions section editor at the Washington Post, tweeted a picture on Tuesday of class tags — which allow riders in Peloton's virtual classes to connect — for "Q" and "WWGOnePelotonWGA." The conspiracy theory movement's slogan is "Where we go one, we go all" or "WWGOWGA" for short.

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According to Goins' photo, the "Q" tag had 63 members, while the other had only one. Within an hour of his tweet, Goins said in a subsequent post, the tags were unusable, meaning they had zero members.

Tags for "QANON" and "WWG1WGA," the movement's shortened catchphrase, were also unusable as of Thursday evening, Insider found.

"Peloton was built on community, inclusivity, and being the best version of yourself," the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the company has "a zero-tolerance policy against hateful content."

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While the at-home fitness company, known for its spin bikes, does not have a specific policy prohibiting QAnon, a spokesperson said that the company moderates and removes "anything that violates" its policies "or does not reflect our company's values of inclusiveness and unity or maintain a respectful environment."

The spokesperson was unable to confirm whether QAnon tags have been removed from the platform in the past.

The Peloton news comes amid a wave of platforms taking broad steps to rid their communities of the growing QAnon movement.

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On Wednesday, a representative for the retail marketplace Etsy told Insider that the platform was banning all QAnon-related merchandise, a big move considering the platform previously carried a huge amount of apparel and paraphernalia related to the conspiracy theory. Facebook announced a massive QAnon ban on Tuesday, saying the conspiracy theory movement would not be allowed on any of its platforms.

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