Twitter on Monday said they have suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were engaged in sharing “harmful QAnon-associated content,” which they say were dedicated to “the propagation of this conspiracy theory” across the platform.
In a post on Monday, Twitter said that they have been taking strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to “offline harm” in the wake of the Capitol riot last week.
“Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said Monday.
Twitter said that many of the individuals impacted by their updated enforcement action “held multiple accounts, driving up the total number of accounts impacted.”
“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,” Twitter said. “These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.”
Twitter acknowledged that the updated enforcement on QAnon content “has resulted in changes in follower count for some people’s Twitter accounts.”
“In some cases, these actions may have resulted in follower count changes in the thousands,” Twitter said.
Twitter, on Monday, also said that they have updated their Civic Integrity policy to “aggressively increase our enforcement action” on misleading and false claims surrounding the 2020 presidential election, which “has been the basis for incitement to violence around the country.”
Twitter warned that repeated violations of the policy, including repeated sharing of tweets that receive warning labels, can result in permanent suspension.
Twitter’s update on the removal of accounts related to QAnon content comes after the platform moved to permanently suspend former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, his attorney Sidney Powell’s account and Ron Watkins’.
A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News that Flynn had been engaged in “harmful activity,” and said his tweets were related to QAnon and calls to violence.
Watkins is the head of the website 8kun, which had been named 8chan, and hosts posts about the QAnon conspiracy theory.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that President Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by global elites who are satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
The conspiracy theory emerged on a 4chan message board in late 2017 but has crept into mainstream politics. QAnon followers have appeared at Trump’s rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.