LOS ANGELES - Twitter says it will be taking strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, including action on “QAnon” activity — a conspiracy theory popular among right-wing extremists.
Twitter announced on Tuesday that it will permanently suspend accounts tweeting about the QAnon conspiracy theory if the user is engaging in violations of Twitter’s account policy.
“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’s Safety account tweeted.
Twitter added that it will no longer serve content and accounts associated with QAnon in its Trends section to ensure the company is not highlighting the activity in its searches. Additionally, the company will block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on the platform.
The company said it will continue to work to protect the public conversation in the face of threats.
According to the company’s post, the actions are scheduled to be rolled out this week. Twitter said it will continue to review activity across its service.
The attackers were able to initiate password resets, log in to accounts and send tweets.
In May, Facebook announced it would remove several groups, accounts, and pages linked to QAnon content. The decision came in a monthly briefing titled “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report.
Facebook said it removed 5 pages, 20 Facebook accounts, and 6 groups that originated in the United States and focused domestically. The company’s investigation linked this activity to individuals associated with the QAnon network.
“We found this activity as part of our internal investigations into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of the 2020 election in the US,” Facebook wrote.
According to the Associated Press, QAnon first emerged “in a dark corner of the internet but has been creeping to the mainstream political area. Trump has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts and its followers flock to the president’s rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.”
Several conspiracy theories have been linked to QAnon followers.
“Pizzagate,” a now-debunked conspiricy theory that went viral during the 2016 election cycle, falsely claimed emails that contained coded messages were connected to several Democratic Party officials and U.S. restaurants with an alleged human trafficking ring.
Another conspiracy theory suggested that drinking bleach could be cure to the deadly Wuhan virus. Medical authorities, include the U.S Food and Drugs Administration have debunked this and have warned that consuming bleach is dangerous and can be fatal.