Travis Scott's Astroworld Tragedy Launched A Satanic Panic & TikTok Is Trying To Handle It

TikTok is shutting down some conspiracy theories about the concert.

Senior Global Editor
Travis Scott's Astroworld Tragedy Launched A Satanic Panic & TikTok Is Trying To Handle It

Some people are claiming online that Travis Scott and Drake were doing something "satanic" during the deadly events of the Astroworld festival.

TikTok is trying to crack down on some conspiracy theories about the concert held on November 5 in Houston, where eight people died and dozens more were injured in a crowd surge. The death toll rose to nine after 22-year-old Bharti Shahani died in hospital days later.

Some of the wildest theories appearing on social media suggest that Scott and Drake were doing a "satanic sacrifice ritual" during the festival. There's no proof of that, but it hasn't stopped people from running away with the idea online.

TikTok has confirmed to Narcity that it's taking down posts related to these conspiracies because they violate its community guidelines about misinformation. They're also removing certain terms from appearing in their search suggestions.

Still, there are some TikTok videos with tens of millions of views that haven't been taken down, and you can find more on other social media platforms.

On Instagram, for example, conspiracy theorists have fixated on a fake tabloid cover that Travis Scott posted last week, before the festival. The image is of a demonic figure made to look like Scott, in what at the time was the supposed album art for a new music teaser.

"Brought evil energy to that festival," one user wrote in a comment on Instagram with over 3,400 likes.

This kind of satanic panic is reminiscent of QAnon, according to Joseph Russo, a professor who teaches a class on conspiracy theories at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

"It goes back to the idea there is a shadowy group of people in control behind it all," Russo told The Guardian. He added that he's "surprised" to see this sort of conspiracy theory taking off with younger people.

Scott, Drake, and concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment are facing several lawsuits over the incidents at the concert, largely because the victims say that the security wasn't strong enough to prevent the crowd crush.

Scott has said he is "absolutely devastated by what took place" at the concert. He's offered refunds and a free month of online counselling to everyone who was at Astroworld, and he's also released a statement saying he would pay for the victims' funerals.

Drake described it as a "devastating tragedy" in a separate statement.

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