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Twitter moves against QAnon, suspending accounts and blocking URLs

Wide-ranging new steps to rein in misinformation of the social-media platform

Twitter said it will permanently suspend QAnon accounts.

Bloomberg News

Twitter Inc. is cracking down on QAnon.

In a series of tweets late Tuesday, Twitter

announced it will permanently suspend accounts related to the conspiracy-theory movement, as well as block URLs and work to keep QAnon activity out of search results.

Twitter said the moves will affect about 150,000 QAnon-related accounts, and about 7,000 have already been banned for breaking its policy against spam and platform manipulation. The crackdown is partially intended to prevent QAnon accounts from “swarming” individual victims.

“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service,” Twitter said.

The San Francisco-based company said the moves will be “rolled out comprehensively” this week.

“As we work at scale to protect the public conversation in the face of evolving threats, we’ll continue to lead with transparency and offer more context on our efforts,” Twitter said.

In recent months, Twitter has taken more forceful steps to rein in the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, and has fact-checked a number of misleading tweets by President Donald Trump.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that has taken flight on social media that involves a multitude of beliefs, including government cover-ups, perceived threats from a “deep state” and the existence of an international sex-trafficking ring made up of celebrities and politicians. Most recently, QAnon believers have spread baseless rumors that Wayfair Inc.

trafficks children, charges that the online retailer has vehemently denied.

Last year, the FBI named QAnon as a domestic terror threat, saying its theories could drive “groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”

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