Twitter Suspends 70,000 QAnon Accounts In Wake Of US Capitol Riot
Twitter has suspended the accounts of more than 70,000 users associated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory following the riots at the US Capitol last week.
In a blog post shared earlier today, January 12, Twitter said it had suspended the accounts because they were ‘engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service’.
The platform said it had taken the steps to protect its community from ‘attempts to incite violence, organise attacks, and share deliberately misleading information about the election outcome’.
The update comes after the platform announced on Friday that it would permanently remove accounts that shared QAnon-related content.
QAnon conspiracists believe a disproven theory that Donald Trump is in secret war with a clan of elite, Satan-worshipping paedophiles.
Supporters of the movement were among the hundreds of violent rioters that stormed the US Capitol building on January 6 in a bid to halt the confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Several prominent QAnon members were photographed inside the building wearing QAnon-themed clothing and flying banners.
One man, who calls himself the ‘QAnon Shaman’, has been arrested following the riots. Jacob Chansley, known as Jake Angeli is being held on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Among those who had their accounts removed were Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, high-profile supporters of Trump.
Both men met with Trump at the White House in recent weeks to discuss strategies to overturn the election results, NBC News reports. In July 2020, a recording was released in which Flynn, a former national security advisor, was heard reciting the QAnon theory pledge.
Twitter’s announcement comes as several social media companies step up their efforts to monitor content on their platforms that could incite violence.
Following Twitter’s lifetime ban on Donald Trump’s account, Facebook also announced it had suspended the president’s account ‘indefinitely’, and at least until Biden takes office on January 20.
‘We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,’ Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement.
Additionally, on Monday, January 11, Facebook said it would remove all content containing the phrases ‘stop the seal’ from its platforms.
The outgoing president is also suspended from Snapchat, Spotify, Twitch and Spotify. Other platforms, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube have announced new restrictions on content. Videos of Trump telling rioters they are ‘very special’, or supporting his claims of election fraud, will be removed.
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