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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

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Technology

Jack Dorsey: Twitter has no influence over elections

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter does not have the ability to influence elections because there are ample additional sources of information, in response to questioning from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz during a hearing Wednesday.

Between the lines: The claim is sure to stir irritation on both the right and left. Conservatives argue Twitter and Facebook's moderation decisions help Democrats, while liberals contend the platforms shy from effectively cracking down on misinformation to appease Republicans.

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Right-wing misinformation could gain steam post-election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With less than a week until the 2020 election, researchers have expressed concern that the information ecosystem today is ripe for an unprecedented level of exploitation by bad actors, particularly hyper-partisan media and personalities on the right.

Why it matters: The misinformation-powered right-wing media machine that fueled Donald Trump's 2016 victory grew stronger after that win, and it's set to increase its reach as a result of the upcoming election, whether Trump wins or loses.