Twitter said Tuesday that it’s taking stronger action against thousands of accounts that spread a far-right conspiracy theory called QAnon that allege there’s a so-called deep state that’s plotting against President Donald Trump and his supporters.
The company has been focusing on whether these users post content that could lead to offline harm such as harassment. A Twitter spokesperson said it’s already pulled down more than 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking its rules against targeted harassment.
The move shows that Twitter is taking a tougher stance against misinformation that could lead to offline harm as social media companies face more pressure to combat hateful content.
Twitter said it will permanently suspend accounts that tweet about the conspiracy theory if they’re also violated its rules against operating multiple accounts, online abuse or try to bypass past suspensions.
The company said it’s taking other actions to limit the reach of the QAnon accounts. It will no longer include these accounts in its trends and recommendations, ensure that it doesn’t highlight QAnon content in its search results and block links tied to the conspiracy theorists from being shared on Twitter. The actions will impact about 150,000 accounts, NBC News reported earlier. A Twitter spokesperson told the news outlet that the company’s classification of QAnon as coordinated harmful activity is new even though the company already has rules against platform manipulation.
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