Others just craved speed: “TREASON = FIRING SQAUD [sic] OR HANGING! DO IT NOW PLEASE THAT’S THE LAW! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !”
These posts — from January 2018, just months after QAnon flamed to life from the embers of Pizzagate, with its false claims of a child sex ring run by Democrats out of a Washington pizzeria — were among the many early warnings that the new conspiracy theory was fueling hatred and calls for violence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
But it would be years before Facebook and Twitter would make major moves to curb QAnon’s presence on their platforms, despite serious cases of online harassment and offline violence that followed, and moves by other social media companies to limit the spread of QAnon’s lurid and false allegations of pedophilia and other crimes.