The QAnon-led conspiracies once again surfaced on Twitter, resulting in the suspension of over 70,000 accounts on the platform. The accounts were targeted for engaging in dangerous content related to QAnon and for encouraging the propagation of their conspiracy theory.
Twitter took this action two days after the pro-Trump mob attack took place at the US Capitol. Twitter explained that it suspended the accounts in an attempt to “protect the conversation on [its] service from attempts to incite violence, organize attacks, and share deliberately misleading information about the election outcome.” It was reported that a large amount of QAnon followers were present among the rioters involved in the attack last week.
The account suspension on Twitter was followed by prominent GOP members complaining about lost followers on the platform. Republican representative Matt Gaetz said he lost tens of thousands of followers, while other prominent figures like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and elected QAnon supporter from Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene had similar complaints too.
The number of accounts Twitter has suspended this time is far greater than crackdowns detailed by the company previously. Twitter also reported that single individuals were operating “numerous” accounts. The last time the company took the action of account suspension against QAnon conspiracy accounts was in July last year, when it banned 7,000 accounts.
In addition to banning accounts, Twitter has also acted against those accounts that have been indirectly involved in the spread of conspiracy related content by tweeting or retweeting it. As a result, these accounts will face the consequences of reduced visibility across search, replies, and timelines, and will also be restricted from being recommended to users on Twitter. Furthermore, accounts that are suspected of spamming are being inquired about their authenticity and may also face temporary disappearance from follower counts.