Twitter suspends 70,000 accounts linked to QAnon

Twitter has suspended 70,000 accounts linked to the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon in light of the violence at the US Capitol last week.

The social media platform said it began permanently deleting accounts that had shared QAnon content on Friday, following riots in Washington DC on Wednesday.

It found several cases where one person was operating multiple accounts in order to “share harmful QAnon-associated content at scale” and “propagate this conspiracy theory” through Twitter.

“Since Friday, more than 70,000 accounts have been suspended as a result of our efforts, with many instances of a single individual operating numerous accounts,” a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.

QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy movement that claims President Donald Trump is fighting against a global paedophile ring that includes members of the US Democratic Party.

Supporters believe that someone inside the group – known as Q – is posting cryptic messages for them online to prepare them to overthrow the supposed evil cabal.

Many of those who stormed and looted Capitol buildings in a bid to stop Congress certifying Joe Biden’s election victory are advocates of QAnon.

Mr Trump has been known to endorse the group, previously describing them as “people who love our country”.

Twitter says it is “aggressively deploying” a combination of technology and human intervention to weed out harmful content surrounding the US election.

It says it will not recommend any account that has tweeted or retweeted QAnon messaging and nothing that breaks its rules can appear in its Trending lists.

From Tuesday, people will not be able to retweet, like or reply to any posts that breach its “civic integrity policy”.

But they will be to quote tweet them, to offer a different perspective or to put them into context, the spokesperson added.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have suspended Mr Trump’s accounts after he was accused of inciting the violence that broke out in Washington last week.

While he can no longer tweet himself, his deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino posted on his behalf last week: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

He also used the official POTUS account to accuse the platform of “banning free speech” over the weekend.

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