NBC News– Twitter announced Tuesday that it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content, banning many of the conspiracy theories ‘ followers because of problems with harassment and misinformation.
This news comes on the heels of Fox News’ top-rated host, Tucker Carlson outing the New York Times who according to Carlson has been working on a piece for the purpose of doxxing his family.
Twitter will stop recommending accounts and content related to QAnon, including material in email and follow recommendations, and it will take steps to limit the circulation of content in features like trends and search. The action will affect about 150,000 accounts, said a spokesperson, who asked to remain unnamed because of concerns about the targeted harassment of social media employees.
The spokesperson said that as part of its new policy, the company had taken down more than 7,000 QAnon accounts in the last few weeks for breaking its rules on targeted harassment.
The sweeping enforcement action will ban QAnon-related terms from appearing in trending topics and the platform’s search feature, ban known QAnon-related URLs, and prohibit “swarming” of people who are baselessly targeted by coordinated harassment campaigns pushed by QAnon followers.
The spokesperson said that while the targeted enforcement fell under Twitter’s existing platform manipulation rules, its classification of QAnon material and behavior as coordinated harmful activity was a new designation. The spokesperson said Twitter was acting now because of rising harm associated with the conspiracy theory.
Twitter plans to permanently ban accounts that violate policies around platform manipulation, evasion of bans and operation of multiple accounts, behaviors commonly used by QAnon accounts, the spokesperson said. Twitter began blocking QAnon websites last week, and it will continue to block the distribution of QAnon-related URLs, the spokesperson said.
According to NBC News – QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that centers on the baseless belief that an anonymous tipster is revealing how President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against a so-called deep state — a collection of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. The conspiracy theory’s roots grew from Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington, D.C., pizza shop.
As we work at scale to protect the public conversation in the face of evolving threats, we’ll continue to lead with transparency and offer more context on our efforts.
Twitter warned its users about the deletions and censorship campaign on their platform:
These actions will be rolled out comprehensively this week. We will continue to review this activity across our service and update our rules and enforcement approach again if necessary.
In addition, we will:
Work to ensure we’re not highlighting this activity in search and conversations
Block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on Twitter
Lisa Mei Crowley, a Q-Anon believer reminds her followers that a huge number of Trump supporters are believers of Q-Anon and have been or will likely be deleted only months before the election. Crowley warns that Twitter is “meddling in the Nov election.”
This Twitter user calls out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, citing Trump’s new executive order on online censorship and asking, “did you read this one before you started banning accounts today?”
Is Twitter’s efforts to lock down Q Anon accounts about protecting its users or is it about deleting a massive number of active pro-Trump accounts only months before the election?