Qanon: Recently, Twitter has removed thousands of accounts linked to QAnon. Its group known for spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation online.
More than 7,000 accounts suspended in the last few weeks, according to Twitter. It also estimates that the additional steps it is taking to restrict the reach of QAnon ‘s activities on its platform will impact 150,000 accounts worldwide. QAnon started off as a single conspiracy theory. Yet his adherents now behave more like a virtual cult, adoring and trusting in whatever misinformation the conspiratorial group might have. The key conspiracy theories say that hundreds of politicians and A-list celebrities are working in conjunction with governments across the globe to participate in child sex abuse.
Followers also claim that there is a “deep state” campaign to annihilate President Donald Trump. “We 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 – something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks,” Twitter said.
The multi-account policy of Twitter forbids coordination with others from deliberately engaging or amplifying conversations.
There is no proof that any of the statements made by QAnon were true.
Followers make false statements and then reinforce them with doctoral or out-of-context facts shared on social media to support the accusations.
The birth of the anarchic party, and its continued infiltration into mainstream American life, is part of the Russian campaign of misinformation aimed at US elections in 2016.
While the Russian campaign had an obvious goal — to influence the voters to elect Trump — QAnon is decentralized, with no specific objective apart from its famous slogan, “Question everything.”
Anyone may build a conspiracy, provide evidence to support it, and add QAnon hashtags to spread it. Yet no one has held accountable for the trail of confusion and deception that it leaves behind.
Twitter has announced that it would no longer support QAnon-related content in its Trends section and suggestions, prevent it from being highlighted in searches, and prevent QAnon-related URLs from being posted on Twitter.
“These actions will be rolled out comprehensively this week,” the company said. “We will continue to review this activity across our service and update our rules and enforcement approach again if necessary.”
At least three GOP candidates endorsed or sponsored QAnon: Jo Rae Perkins, a U.S. Senate nominee in Oregon; Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Congressional candidate for Georgia’s 14th District; and Lauren Boebert, a Trump-backed, five-time candidate in the primary elections to become a candidate for Colorado’s 3rd District.
Twitter has taken more aggressive action against misinformation on its website in recent months, putting warning labels on President Trump ‘s post about mail-in ballots, and another during a rally in which he said “looting” would lead to “shooting.”
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Facebook, which came under criticism for refusing to take action against those posts, started applying labels to some of Trump’s more recent messages. Yet instead of attempting to objectively test the post as true or false about the post-voting statements, the labels guide visitors to the government website to learn more about how to vote.
And while Twitter has made numerous policy changes to focus on disinformation, it may be a struggle to execute them and only have a small effect on stopping the group’s conspiracy theories from spreading.
Followers of QAnon are prominent on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and other darker corners of the internet.