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As part of a Twitter crackdown, QAnon accounts are being banned by the social media giant. This news comes after complaints of harassment and the ongoing spread of misinformation.
Additionally, QAnon is a conspiracy theorist group. It originally started with one Twitter account with the name Q. However, the account eventually formed into a group of several people. They believe there is a plan formed by the “deep state” to kill President Donald Trump. None of their claims have been proven to be true, still, accounts linked to QAnon spread misinformation. Q began on a message board, then added pages on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Though this usually would go unnoticed, the accounts are now violating several Twitter policies. These include violations of the multi-account policy, harassment of others, and attempts to evade suspensions. Twitter explains the group has formed into something of a “cult.”
For example, anyone can tweet a conspiracy theory and tag it with the hashtag linked to QAnon. This can be harmful as it spreads misinformation to the general public. Since Twitter cannot hold one person solely responsible, the social media giant decided to suspend all of those they identified. So far they have suspended over 7,000 accounts — Twitter does not plan on stopping.
Twitter’s decision comes after they started adding labels to President Trump’s tweets. According to Twitter, their actions are for public safety. In addition to removing these accounts, Twitter will block QAnon from its trends and recommendations section. They will also block URLs associated with the conspiracy theorist group. Twitter believes that by taking these actions, they will be able to prevent the spread of misinformation. These changes are being supported by celebrities like Chrissy Teigen.
On the other hand, Twitter is not the only place where this group is active. In fact, they are on several other sites including Facebook, Reddit, and Youtube. Facebook has been criticized for not taking the same actions as Twitter against the group.
While this may seem trivial to some, it is incredibly important. Followers of the conspiracy group have been involved in armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, and one known murder. Trump supporters have even shown up to rallies wearing and selling with “Q” merchandise.
In fact, last year the FBI designated the group as a potential domestic terrorist group. The FBI believes that they are dangerous, and this, in part, is what influenced the social media platform to target accounts linked to the group.
Regardless the group has no evidence to support their claims, the theories have made their way into mainstream media. In fact, Republican candidates for Congress have openly endorsed the group.
With the pandemic, they were able to expand their following. They even tried to start an anti-vaccination community, which is dangerous.
It is a common practice for QAnon to attack anyone who opposes Trump. Because of this, many people often find themselves subjected to harassment online. The conspiracy group believes the president will expose globalists and celebrities who have been secretly running the country.
Followers believe this information comes from “Q,” a high ranking official who works for the Trump administration. For the group to have such a large platform and be endorsed by so many political leaders in nonetheless concerning. Hopefully, other apps follow Twitter’s actions and ban QAnon from its apps.
Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN Business: Twitter takes down 7,000 accounts linked to QAnon
NBC News: Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon accounts, limits 150,000 others as part of broad crackdown
CBS News: Twitter unveils plan to limit QAnon activity in new crackdown
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