Q covered with bird droppings

Jason Reed/The Daily Dot

Twitter suspends major QAnon accounts in sitewide crackdown

'We will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.'

Jul 22, 2020, 8:39 am*

Tech

Sierra Juarez 

Sierra Juarez

Twitter has taken down thousands of accounts associated with QAnon as part of a crackdown on the far-right conspiracy theory.

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In an announcement on Monday night, Twitter said that it will permanently suspend QAnon accounts that violate the social media company’s policies. So far, Twitter has suspended about 7,000 accounts, according to CNN Business.

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“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” Twitter wrote in a statement. “In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service.”

QAnon is a conspiracy theory built off of the baseless claims that President Donald Trump is at war against Hollywood elites and Democratic officials who run a child sex-trafficking ring.

The movement has spread over the last several years, with Twitter estimating that there are now 150,000 accounts associated with QAnon theories.

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That’s disconcerting because some QAnon believers advocate for extra-judicial field tribunals and executions to combat the “deep state.” In addition, there are reports of QAnon followers committing crimes for their cause, including murders, arson, and attempted kidnapping.

In order to cut down on misinformation and wind back some of QAnon’s social media influence, Twitter will no longer serve QAnon content and accounts in its trends or recommendations sections. The company will also not highlight QAnon activity in its search feature. Lastly, Twitter will block people from sharing URLs related to the conspiracy theory.

Major accounts like Praying Medic, who claimed to divine QAnon drops, lost their account in the purge.

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“As we work at scale to protect the public conversation in the face of evolving threats, we’ll continue to lead with transparency and offer more context on our efforts,” Twitter said.

Twitter’s decision appears to be part of a larger movement in the tech industry to suppress the spread of the baseless theory. In May, Google removed several QAnon apps from its Play Store.

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*First Published: Jul 22, 2020, 8:38 am