70K QAnon Twitter accounts suspended in the wake of Capitol riot
Twitter on Monday announced that it has banned over 70,000 accounts that share content surrounding the QAnon conspiracy theory in the wake of the riot that erupted at the Capitol last week.
The social media giant confirmed in a blog post that it has removed the accounts as part of an effort following the riot last week “to protect the conversation on our service from attempts to incite violence, organize attacks, and share deliberately misleading information about the election outcome.”
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” the blog post stated.
Twitter said that “many” of the individuals impacted by the ban “held multiple accounts” that shared content surrounding the QAnon conspiracy theory, which baselessly claims that President Trump is working to expose elites in Democratic politics and institutions running underground child trafficking rings.
The now-banned accounts “were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory.”
Twitter last week permanently suspended accounts for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins as part of efforts to crackdown on content related to the QAnon theory.
Flynn, who served as Trump’s first national security adviser, has been one of the most visible supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Twitter also permanently suspended Trump’s account on Friday, claiming that his tweets pose “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account,” the company wrote in a blog post last week.
Twitter is not alone in Silicon Valley in boosting efforts to tamp down in misinformation following the riot among pro-Trump demonstrators last week in the Capitol. Facebook on Monday announced that it is taking down content that contains the phrase “stop the steal.”
“With continued attempts to organize events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in DC, we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration,” the company said in a blog post.
The riot at the Capitol building, which came during Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results in the 2020 election, resulted in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.