And on YouTube, a QAnon channel with over 100,000 followers pushed the conspiracy, too. “Remember, we know what pizza was code language for,” Daniel Lee, a YouTube personality popular in conspiracy circles, told his audience. The video was viewed 30,000 times.
A Facebook spokeswoman, Liz Bourgeois, said in an email on Friday that “it’s up to our fact-checking partners to determine which claims they rate, and they take a number of factors into consideration.” She acknowledged that as of Friday afternoon, there were no fact-checks so far on the widely shared posts falsely tying Ms. Harris to PizzaGate.
Twitter said on Friday that it permanently suspended people associated with QAnon who used many different accounts or tried to evade a previous suspension.
“We deploy a number of tools to add context to and address misinformation,” including applying labels, not recommending tweets and limiting the reach of tweets, a Twitter spokesman, Trenton Kennedy, said.
YouTube did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Falsehoods about Ms. Harris’s heritage — in particular that she is “not Black” — were among the most widely spread misinformation that Zignal Labs tracked. Since Tuesday, the argument had been mentioned over 40,000 times, the company found.
“Kamala Harris is not an American Black,” said one tweet that collected 2,300 likes and shares after it was first posted on Wednesday. “She is half Indian and half Jamaican. She is robbing American Blacks of their history. Kamala is as Black American as Obama.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Candace Owens, a right-wing commentator, posted a widely shared post questioning Ms. Harris’s heritage. “I am SO EXCITED that we get to watch Kamala Harris, who swore into congress as an ‘Indian-American,’ now play the ‘I’m a black a woman’ card all the way until November,” she wrote.