In a sweeping move across the platform, Twitter has banned 7,000 accounts related to the “QAnon” movement and limited another 150,000.
NBC News reports that Twitter announced this week that it had taken action across its platform to limit the reach of the QAnon movement, banning 7,000 QAnon-related accounts and limiting a further 150,000. Twitter alleged that this was due to ongoing problems with harassment and the spread of misinformation on the platform.
Twitter will stop recommending accounts and content related to the QAnon theory and will be taking steps to limit the circulation of content related to the theory in places such as trends and search. Approximately 150,000 accounts will be affected by this limiting of content according to a Twitter spokesperson.
We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) July 22, 2020
The spokesperson requested to remain anonymous due to fears of targeted harassment. The spokesperson added that 7,000 QAnon accounts had been removed for breaking the site’s rules on targeted harassment as part of its new policy.
Twitter claims that while the targeted enforcement against QAnon fell under Twitter’s existing platform manipulation rules, its classification of QAnon conspiracy followers as coordinated harmful activity was a new designation for the theorists.
The spokesperson alleged that Twitter was taking action against the theorists now due to an escalation in the degree of harm associated with the conspiracy theory. Twitter will reportedly be permanently suspending accounts that violate existing policies around platform manipulation, ban evasion, and the operation of multiple accounts. Twitter claims that QAnon supporters regularly engage in these activities.
Twitter has also begun blocking websites that disseminate QAnon content and will continue to block the sharing of QAnon-related links according to the spokesperson.
The QAnon theory centers around the belief that an anonymous tipster within the Trump administration is revealing how President Donald Trump is leading a war against the Deep State which is comprised of politicians, business executives, and Hollywood elites who abuse children and practice Satan worship.
The FBI designated QAnon a potential domestic terror threat last year. The FBI’s report that detailed QAnon’s ties to dangerous real-world activities reportedly influence Twitter’s decision to crack down on the theory on its platform.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org