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Reddit Just Banned The Biggest QAnon Subreddit After Users Called For Hillary Clinton's Death

Reddit says the community violated its policies against inciting violence and harassment.

Last updated on September 12, 2018, at 9:08 p.m. ET

Posted on September 12, 2018, at 4:11 p.m. ET

Reddit / Via reddit.com

Reddit banned the /r/greatawakening subreddit on Wednesday, shuttering one of the most active online hubs for the QAnon conspiracy theory where believers had recently called for Hillary Clinton to be hanged and hoped to see "her blood pouring down the gutters."

The subreddit had more than 70,000 subscribers before it was removed.

"As of September 12, r/greatawakening has been banned due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy," a Reddit spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites violence, disseminates personal information, or harasses will get users and communities banned from Reddit."

QAnon is a sprawling conspiracy theory predicated on the baseless claim that Donald Trump is fighting a secret war against powerful factions within the federal government, Hollywood, and the Democratic Party, who are all involved in an array of crimes. Like the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy theory, QAnon also involves regular accusations against public figures of being involved in pedophilia. Cryptic clues posted on the 4chan and 8chan message boards, signed "Q," are the fuel for the conspiracy theory.

The conspiracy theory has been gaining steam since late 2017, and came to wider public attention in late July when dozens of Trump supporters attended a rally in Florida while sporting QAnon shirts and signs. A month later, one of the most prominent promoters of QAnon, Lionel Lebron, took a photo with Trump in the Oval Office. (White House staff told the Daily Beast they could not explain how the meeting happened.)

There are simply no words to explicate the profound and ineffable honor of meeting @realDonaldTrump in the tabernacle of liberty, the Oval Office. @LynnShawProd and I so appreciate @POTUS’ kindness and courtesy. #MAGA https://t.co/9rfxca2Kbd

QAnon believers are active on various social media platforms, but the /r/greatawakening subreddit was by far the most popular meeting place. Several additional subreddits devoted to QAnon still exist on the site, though others such as /r/the_greatawakening and /r/QProofs were also banned Wednesday.

The site previously banned a popular QAnon subreddit, /r/CBTS_stream, in March.

Wednesday's ban of /r/greatawakening follows similar action earlier this week against subreddits associated with Million Dollar Extreme, a comedy group fronted by right-wing troll Sam Hyde.

Reddit did not say Wednesday what specifically prompted it to take action against /r/greatawakening, but recent comments in the subreddit included a host of violent language about Hillary Clinton and other figures. In August, a user discussing the military referred to Clinton and wrote "HANG HER!" Another comment in the same conversation suggested that Clinton ought to be "dragged out to a noose," to which another person replied "and left hanging til she rots to the bone."

Another participant in the conversation wrote that "I want to see her blood pouring down the gutters!" Other commenters suggested that Clinton ought to die from cancer, or face execution by electric chair.

Violent comments continued in other subsequent conversations as well.

During a discussion about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one person alluded to Clinton and said, "I wish some of that blood she drank had some super AIDS in it or something." In another instance, when a commenter suggested both Clinton and President Obama "need to be fired in public," someone else upped the ante, saying "fired is still alive."

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