January 17, 2021

Twitter Removes Over 70,000 QAnon Accounts

Other social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Reddit, have also moved to limit Mr. Trump and toxic speech that might inspire people to violence in recent days. Facebook and Twitter have since expanded their actions. On Monday, Facebook said it would begin removing any content that referred to “Stop the Steal,” a rallying cry for Trump supporters who believe the false claim that the election was stolen from Mr. Trump.

Twitter said it would also deepen its crackdown on misleading and false information about the presidential election. Users who persistently violated its civic integrity policy, which forbids users from spreading content that discourages voter participation or misleads about the outcome of an election, would face permanent suspension, Twitter said.

Facebook and Twitter’s actions have been praised by liberals and others, but have also raised questions about the power of the companies over online discourse.

The QAnon conspiracy theory has long been potent for Mr. Trump. Its believers position Mr. Trump as a hero who is trying to eradicate a global elite of Satan-worshiping pedophiles. One woman who breached the Capitol last week and was shot and killed, Ashli Babbitt, was a QAnon believer.

While the conspiracy theory has festered online for years, the social media companies only moved in recent months to take down content related to it. Last August, Facebook started establishing policies that barred QAnon groups that called for violence, before expanding the move in October by saying it would remove any group, page or Instagram account that openly identified with QAnon.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/technology/twitter-removes-70000-qanon-accounts.html

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