Twitter permanently suspends Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and others

Twitter on Friday permanently suspended accounts for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins as part of a crackdown on content linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

A spokesperson for the platform told The Hill that each of the individuals was banned in line with Twitter’s policy against harmful coordinated activity.

“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” the spokesperson added.

Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, has been one of the most visible QAnon supporters with close ties to the administration, posting a video of himself reciting one of its “oaths” last summer.

Powell, who led Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the results of November’s election, was sued for $1.3 billion earlier Friday for spreading misinformation about Dominion Voting Systems.

Watkins was also a key figure spreading falsehoods about the voting company. His former platform hosts posts by “Q,” the anonymous figure who posts the cryptic messages that serve as the foundation of the theory.

8kun changed its name from 8chan after it was used to post manifestos by mass murders, including the one in El Paso, Texas, that left 17 dead in 2019.

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe baselessly that Trump is working to expose a shadowy cabal of elites in Democratic politics in the media running underground child trafficking rings.

Supporters of the theory were heavily involved in Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

Critics say Twitter had plenty of time to act on these high-profile accounts before the violence Wednesday.

“So much unnecessary suffering would have been averted if Twitter did this two years ago instead of today,” Travis View, co-host of the “QAnonymous” podcast, posted shortly after the takedowns.

Several other major QAnon accounts were suspended Friday as part of the crackdown, including @prayingmedic and @majorpatriot.

Twitter has taken steps to remove the presence of the conspiracy theory from its website before, including pulling down thousands of accounts in July.

However, many major accounts were unaffected or were simply able to evade bans.

Tags Donald Trump

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