Sometimes a band’s name can yield unexpected consequences, as was the case for Oakland-based dark punk outfit Adrenochrome who found themselves without access to a couple key social media accounts when they were caught up in Facebook and Instagram’s policing of QAnon conspiracy theory content.
So why exactly did this happen? That requires a dive into one of the theories that QAnon has spread that centers on former President Trump privately taking on a global cult of Satanic child trafficking and baby eating pedophiles made up of Hollywood elites and members of the Democratic party. One of the key pieces of this theory is that the children and babies are being sought for their blood in order to extract adrenochrome, which is believed to help maintain a youthful appearance.
As Mashable points out, while Adrenochrome is a real chemical, it is merely a byproduct of adrenaline and is readily available for purchase online, so there was no need to harvest children in order to obtain it. It has not been authorized by the FDA, but some countries have approved its usage to promote blood clotting.
The theory has been spread so often among QAnon that it was a frequently utilized word amongst QAnon discussions and appears to have been a word that the social media giants keyed in on while attempting to thwart the conspiracy theory rhetoric.
As for the band, they reveal that the name was a nod to an ’80s goth song from Sisters of Mercy and they had no intent of being associated with the QAnon theory when they chose the moniker.
“Aside from being big fans of the song, we knew about the mythical drug from the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” singer Gina Marie told Mashable. She explains that their name choice came around the time of the arrival of Q’s presence on the image board 4chan in 2017. In the time since, they’ve seen an increasing presence of messages by those thinking there was a connection.
“We got a random comment from a woman,” bassist Andres explained. “It was obvious to me that she was on a QAnon binge and stumbled on our video. I think part of the reason why the conspiracy is so pervasive was that the YouTube algorithm just keeps suggesting this shit to people who want to ‘do their own research’ and it eventually led them to us.”
“We started getting random messages and tags on our social media accounts,” Gina added. “The tags were from people who were clearly not our fans and the posts would consist of wild conspiracy theories.”
It was a bit of a laughable situation for the band until October 2020 when their Instagram platform, as well as that of one of the band’s members, was deleted. “Then we realized we would be mistakenly lumped in with this dangerous group of people,” Gina said. A Facebook wiping of accounts would follow in late January after the Capitol building riot.
Initial attempts to regain their Facebook access were returned with a message that the decision was irreversible. But eventually the group sought out the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital civil liberties outfit, that was able to help them get their accounts restored. But the band’s Facebook accounts were taken down two more times with the EFF having to intervene both times.
In a statement provided to Mashable, Facebook said, “these accounts were mistakenly removed under our dangerous organizations and individuals policy.” This policy prohibits certain users and groups from participating on the social network. It specifically bans “Violence-Inducing Conspiracy Networks, such as QAnon” from Facebook’s platforms. Facebook also told Mashable that “we’ve restored the accounts and added an extra layer of protection to them to minimize any future mistakes.”
“While I appreciate Facebook’s efforts to stem the damage that its platform has proliferated with the sharing and harboring of QAnon groups, especially after its involvement with Cambridge Analytica, we feel like their answer to this crisis was rolled out very carelessly and months too late,” said Andres of Adrenochrome.
Meanwhile, the group’s Instagram and personal accounts were recently restored for the first time since October. Their Facebook now offering the disclaimer, “NO CONSPIRACY THEORY/SCIENCE DENYING HERE! Q freaks move along this page is NOT for you!”
They also revealed upon their return to social media, “We’re still here!! We have been working hard behind the scenes of social media on new recordings & visuals to soon be released on Manic Noise Records, followed by an LP later in the summer! Expect to be seeing & hearing more from us!”