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July 23, 2020, 04.00 PM

HONG KONG, — Twitter is cracking down on accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory group that is popular among President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The crackdown by Twitter includes banning account linked to QAnon in addition to blocking URLs associated with the group.

For the latter measure, the goal is to stop the sharing of the US far-right group’s URLs on the Twitter platform.

Additional steps include the end of highlighting and recommending tweets associated with the conspiracy theory group.

“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” Twitter said in a tweet late Tuesday.

Accounts that are “engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension” will be suspended permanently, Twitter said.

Over 7,000 accounts have been removed over the last few weeks for such violations, the company said in a statement.

It also expects over 150,000 accounts globally to have reduced visibility due to these measures.

The QAnon conspiracy theory is centered on the baseless belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

For more than two years, followers have pored over tangled clues purportedly posted online by a high-ranking government official known only as “Q.”

The conspiracy theory emerged in a dark corner of the internet but has been creeping into the mainstream political arena.

Trump has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts and its followers flock to his rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.

Twitter’s move follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which in May also removed several groups, accounts and pages against QAnon. 

(Writer: Zen Soo) 


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