The social media site announced its intentions to stop misinformation through QAnon related accounts.
Twitter announced plans to reduce QAnon accounts conspiracy theory on the social media platform.
- Over the past few weeks, QAnon has gained name recognition after several shouts.
- Twitter has now blocked 7,000 accounts, citing these accounts as violating Twitter policy.
- The spread of misinformation could have dire consequences amid a global epidemic.
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The company argues that this theory has the potential to cause not only online harassment but also real-world violence. This comes at a time when theory is entering the mainstream.
What are QAnon accounts and why is Twitter concerned?
QAnon is the name of a right-wing conspiracy theory that accuses elites of “deep state” authorities of having a hand in sex trafficking and paedophilia.
The theory is that President Trump is the only force trying to eliminate this underground criminal ring. Also, conspiracy theory warns an anonymous informant within the government that its nickname is “Q.”
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For almost a year, however, the FBI has considered the spread of this theory to be a domestic terrorist threat. This is because some of the adherents of the theory have made violent threats against government officials.
Over the past few weeks, QAnon has gained name recognition after several shouts.
First, the president himself retweeted several posts by QAnon supporters. A nonprofit that monitors the spread of misinformation claims that Trump raised 185 QAnon accounts in early July.
Also, his son Eric Trump, who has 3.8 million followers, paid homage to this principle. Ahead of the president’s June rally in Tulsa, Eric Trump tweeted a picture of the American flag with the aim of a “queue” and conspiracy theories.
A handful of Republican congressional candidates have spoken out in support of the doctrine.
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Most recently, the NYPD union leader made waves when he appeared in an interview with a QAnon coffee mug in the background.
Twitter takes action on QAnon accounts
The social media site announced its intentions to stop misinformation through QAnon related accounts. The official Twitter security account released the following:
Tweets about these topics, which we know may involve violating our multiple accounting policies, consolidating abuse around individual victims, or attempting to avoid previous suspensions, will permanently suspend accounts – something we have seen a lot in recent weeks.
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Twitter Security then followed this message: Also, we:
- Trends and Recommendations will no longer serve the content and accounts associated with QAnon
- Work to ensure that we do not highlight this functionality in search and conversations
- Avert QAnon-related URLs from being shared on Twitter
Twitter has now blocked 7,000 accounts, citing these accounts as violating Twitter policy. A company spokesman said the accounts were aimed at personal targets and that a small number of users had set up multiple accounts to amplify their message.
The big picture
The move comes amid public calls for social media companies to do more to combat misinformation.
Big companies like Disney, Walmart and McDonald’s have participated in anti-Facebook advertising boycotts. The Coalition pushes the world’s largest social network responsible for spreading misinformation and hate speech.
The spread of misinformation could have dire consequences amid a global epidemic, with only four months to go before a general election.