Twitter continues its purge to get rid of misinformation as the social media giant got rid of 70,000 accounts in three days. These were accounts that had to do with QAnon; with Twitter announcing that it ramped up its enforcement following last week’s Capitol Hill insurrection.
“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 wrote in a blog post. “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. 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.”
There is no way actions like this would be taken that it will not impact on the follower count of users. According to the microblogging giant, this “may have resulted in follower count changes in the thousands” for “some people.”
This new crackdown is not all about QAnon alone; Twitter’s hammer also came down hard on accounts spreading misinformation—mostly about the 2020 US election won by Joe Biden.
Last year, Twitter vowed that its platform would no longer welcome right-wing conspiracy theory also known as QAnon. The microblogging company said it would begin treating QAnon content on its platform differently. The company said it would remove related topics from its trending pages and algorithm recommendations. It went further to add that it would rid its platform of all associated URLs, and permanently suspend any accounts tweeting about QAnon that had previously been suspended.
The company said it would permanently suspend such accounts as part of measures to keep its platform safe for all “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.”
Specifically, the microblogging platform said enforcement will take effect from the week the announcement was made and that it would continue to provide transparency and additional context as it makes other related policy choices from time to time. Quoting a Twitter spokesperson, TechCrunch, reports that the action will affect 150,000 accounts and more than 7,000 QAnon-related accounts previously removed for violating Twitter rules around platform manipulation, evading a ban and spam.
QAnon, which sometimes is referred to as “the Storm,” is popularly known for its connection to Pizzagate, which is a baseless conspiracy that accused Hillary Clinton of running a sex trafficking ring out of a Washington D.C pizza place. The conspiracy, according to TechCrunch, “inspired an armed believer to show up to the pizza shop, where he fired a rifle inside the restaurant, though no one was injured.”