According to Twitter, more than 70,000 accounts related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory were suspended following the US Capitol uprising last week. The move comes after a bunch of pro-Trump loyalists tried to forcefully storm the Capitol.
In a further step to curb conspiracy theories, Facebook also said it removed “stop the steal” content to stop misinformation and content that could lead to further violence in the next few weeks, “a blog post said from Monday from Facebook managers Guy Rosen and Monika Bickert.
The content is cleaned up on both Twitter and Facebookfrom their platforms, with Twitter citing “the risk of further incitement to violence”. Mr Trump is accused of contributing to the deadly uprising, which has resulted in five deaths and dozens of arrests.
Given last week’s events, Twitter said it was taking action against online behavior “that has the potential to cause offline harm”. In many cases, a single person operated numerous QAnon-linked accounts, increasing the total number of accounts affected, the company said in a blog post.
The QAnon conspiracy theory isthat Trump is waging a secret campaign against “Deep State” enemies and a ring for child sex trafficking run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. Twitter previously tried cracking down on QAnon and removed more than 7,000 accounts in July.
“These accounts dealt with the large-scale sharing of malicious QAnon-associated content and were primarily dedicated to spreading this conspiracy theory throughout the service,” Twitter said.
Facebook said it was told to act in “continued attempts to organize events that could lead to violence against the US presidential election result” before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
Twitter’s sweeping cleanup of QAnon accounts, which began Friday, is part of a larger move, which includes the decision to ban Mr. Trump from service over concerns about further incitement to violence. The suspensions mean some Twitter users will lose followers, in some cases by the thousands, the company said.
Twitter said it is also stepping up enforcement efforts, and starting Tuesday, it will limit the circulation of posts that violate Citizens’ Integrity Guidelines by preventing anyone from replying to them, liking them, or tweeting them again. The policy prohibits attempts to rig elections and disseminate misleading information about their results, with repeated violations leading to permanent suspension.