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Twitter Deactivates Over 7,000 “QAnon” Conspiracy Theorists’ Accounts; Hides Over 150,000 More

by on July 22, 2020
 

Popular social media platform, Twitter has removed more than 7,000 accounts linked to the “QAnon” movement over abuse and harassment concerns, saying Tuesday it will limit the spread of conspiracy theories by its supporters.

The social media giant made this move due to concerns over the spread of falsified information from the deactivated accounts, which according to AFP, were owned by members informal, pro-Donald Trump group.

These conspiracy theorists believe — with no credible evidence — that the United States has been ruled for decades by a criminal organization involving people they describe as the Satan-worshipping global elite, including Hollywood stars and the “deep state”.

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The right-wing group is also convinced of a secret plot against Trump, and its members have targeted his political opponents on social media with harassment.

“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” Twitter said.

“In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service,” it added.

Twitter said it permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about topics that are engaged in violations of the platform’s multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension.

A spokesperson said that the social media giant had decided to act because QAnon followers were causing increasing harm.

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) has identified QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat, according to US media.

Furthermore, QAnon members have recently been involved in protests in the US, against measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, especially lockdowns and face masks

Twitter said it would help stop the spread of QAnon conspiracy theories by, among other things, making sure the Twitter algorithm does not highlight sites and tweets associated with their accounts.

It will also “block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on Twitter.”

Some 150,000 accounts will also be hidden from trends and search on Twitter, a spokesperson said.

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Supporters of the group claim that “Q” or “QAnon” is a mole in the United States President’s inner circle, revealing tidbits of intelligence concerning the global conspiracy on fringe internet platforms.

Twitter’s decision comes after nearly 1,000 advertisers announced they were boycotting Facebook, demanding more aggressive action against content that promotes violence and hate.

In April, Facebook removed 20 accounts, five pages and six groups linked to QAnon.

Source/AFP

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