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Fox News host Jesse Watters clarified comments he made about the QAnon “fringe platform” which may have appeared to give “credence” to the conspiracy theory.
Watters seemed to pay a sort of backward compliment to the movement during Saturday’s broadcast of his program, “Watters’ World,” as he spoke with President Donald Trump’son, Eric Trump, about recent examples of censorship by big tech companies like Twitter which banned thousands of “QAnon” accounts last week.
Watters remarked on the “censorship” and “some funny business now” about “Q, I guess this conspiracy theory on the Internet” during the interview.
“Twitter has basically cracked down and eliminated about 7,000 accounts,” he said, adding that “another 100,000 accounts are now in the cross-hairs.”
“Do you think this is an attempt to interfere in an election?” he asked Trump. “Because you know, Q can do some crazy stuff with the pizza stuff and the Wayfair stuff but they also uncovered a lot of great stuff when it comes to Epstein and the deep state.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 26, 2020
“I never saw Q as dangerous as Antifa. But Antifa gets to run wild on the internet, what do you think is going on there?” Watters continued.
But Watters reportedly retracted the comments as he clarified his position on QAnon in a statement.
“While discussing the double standard of big tech censorship,” he said in a statement provided by Fox News. “I mentioned the conspiracy group QAnon, which I don’t support or believe in. My comments should not be mistaken for giving credence to this fringe platform.”
Though the expected backlash from critics of Fox News continued on Twitter, many users appreciated the comments from Watters.
He did point out that they had done positive things and shouldn’t be victims of cancel culture or banned from social media.
— R. Lamartiniere, MD (@rlamartini) July 27, 2020
1/2 I agree with @JesseBWatters statement. Am not a q follower, but have read it. Yeah there’s some weirdness, but it’s basically saying ‘think for yourself’, ‘do your own research’, which is spot on. A mirror to the msm if you will.
— JJ (@jjmccread) July 27, 2020
Twitter had removed about 7,000 accounts and limited 150,000 others in the purge last week because the group “has the potential to lead to offline harm.”
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service,” Twitter’s ‘safety’ division noted in a tweet.
“We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension — something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks,” Twitter safety added.
An FBI bulletin issued last year mentioned QAnon and its take on the alleged deep state conspiracy against President Trump. The move appeared to originate on the online message board site 4Chan in 2017 and has increasingly become linked to violence.
“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document from May 2019 stated, predicting an increase in activity during the 2020 presidential election race.
During his interview with Watters over the weekend, the president’s son called out the effect on millions of social media users who are “spoon fed” messages “curated out of Silicon Valley by somebody who is radical, radical Left.”
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