In the two days following former President Donald Trump’s appearance in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday in support of Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, numerous high-profile leftist commentators suggested attendees gave Trump the Nazi salute when they pointed their index fingers outward in solidarity during his speech.
The gesture doesn’t very closely resemble the Sieg Heil gesture that German fascists made to signal adherence to Adolph Hitler in the 1930s and 40s, in which saluters held all their right-hand fingers side-by-side. Progressive pundits nonetheless exclaimed, with varied degrees of self-assurance, that Trump supporters were adverting to either Naziism or the conspiracy-trafficking QAnon movement or both.
A Canadian movement of truckers protesting the country’s vaccine mandate has inspired a similar protest in the U.S., with a convoy expected to arrive at the nation’s capital next month. That movement, though, sparked controversy beyond its protest this weekend after a run-in with the popular online fundraiser, GoFundMe.
GoFundMe announced it would refund more than $10 million in donations to donors of the “Freedom Convoy” online fundraiser after threats of a fraud investigation from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis threatened the investigation after GoFundMe reportedly froze the fundraising account Friday and said they would give the funds to another charity of Freedom Convoy’s choice.
Twitter has reportedly purged over 70,000 accounts from its platform for sharing “harmful QAnon-associated content.”
The social media website began cracking down on Twitter activity after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.
The Columbus Dispatch published an article casting a local “Save the Children” event as a Trojan Horse for “QAnon” beliefs. Before the event even takes place, the article depicts it as mobilization for potential violence by conspiracy theory supporters.
It is the latest in a growing trend with media to downplay or dismiss child sex-trafficking awareness events as covers for other, darker political intentions. QAnon is a conspiracy theory that President Trump is secretly battling powerful and wealthy Satan-worshipping pedophiles.
Facebook announced Wednesday that it will take further action against pages, groups, and Instagram accounts associated with anarchist groups and other groups “tied to violence.”
The social media website said it will expand their “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy” to censor groups who reportedly pose a “significant risk” to public safety, such as QAnon, the company said in a statement. Facebook is also taking action against “offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests,” the statement said.