Jul 22, 2020 - Technology

Twitter launches crackdown on QAnon

A man wears a bright vest that says "Qanon" while protesting coronavirus measures

Photo: Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty Images

Twitter announced on Tuesday a sweeping crackdown against accounts pushing content related to far-right conspiracy theory movement QAnon.

Why it matters: The move comes as Twitter has been increasingly aggressive in taking action against those using its service to spread misinformation, Axios' Ina Fried writes. The company has prioritized aiming enforcement actions at material that could lead to real-world harm.

Details: Twitter said it will "permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension."

  • The company is banning 7,000 QAnon-linked accounts in its initial crackdown and expects broader policy changes to limit the reach of another 150,000 accounts, NBC News first reported.

Those changes, per the company, include:

  • keeping QAnon-linked content and accounts out of trending topics and recommendations;
  • working to avoid highlighting such material in search and conversation threads; and
  • blocking QAnon-related URLs from being shared on Twitter.

The big picture: QAnon, which is premised on the idea that President Trump is leading a secret war on pedophile elites, began on anonymous message boards, but has spread widely on mainstream social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. Twitter's move marks the first major crackdown aimed specifically at rooting out QAnon material.

Go deeper: 11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

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