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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

Poll: One-third of Americans are open to QAnon conspiracy theories

A car with references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which the FBI identified as a domestic terror threat, before a Trump rally. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

More than one-third of Americans think it's possible that elites in Hollywood, government and the media "are secretly engaging in large scale child trafficking and abuse," according to new polling for a U.K.-based anti-racism advocacy group reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: New findings by the group HOPE not Hate show 1 in 10 Americans say they are at least "soft" supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement and suggest that distrust in U.S. political systems could fuel further unrest in a fraught election year.

Updated Oct 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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