Top line

More than 70,000 Twitter accounts associated with the right-wing extremist QAnon conspiracy movement were banned from the platform after rioting in the Capitol last week. The company announced this on Monday as part of a broader crackdown on conspiracies, misinformation and “attempts to incite violence, to organize” attacks and deliberately misleading information about the election results “in which President Donald Trump and his high-profile supporters feared he will use them to incite violence, have been permanently banned from the platform.

Twitter deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

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Key factors

“We knew we were going to take tough enforcement measures against behaviors that can lead to offline damage,” Twitter said in a blog post announcing the purge on Monday, citing the “increased risk of harm.” “after violence in Washington. DC, last week.

The company announced that it has begun banning accounts “primarily devoted to exchanging QAnon content on Friday afternoons” – the right-wing conspiracy movement has baselessly claimed Donald Trump is waging a secret war on a global pedophile ring of Democrats, Celebrities and celebrities who worship satan billionaires.

Twitter said it had targeted accounts that “share malicious QAnon-associated content on a large scale and are primarily dedicated to spreading this conspiracy theory throughout the service”.

“Many ‘of those affected’ had multiple accounts,” the company said, adding that some people may see “changes in the number of followers in the thousands” due to the bans.

Key background

After years of pressure to crack down on Trump misinformation, conspiracy and hate speech, platforms are now leaving in droves after allegations the president instigated violence among his supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. Of these, Twitter is by far the most consistent and many prominent Trump supporters such as Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell and Ron Watkins have also been ousted from the QAnon content sharing platform. Twitter was Trump’s favorite way to connect with the world around him, and the president used the platform for everything from announcing policies and condemning critics to spreading hatred, misinformation and lies. Trump’s communication channels are certainly narrowing – Facebook has also banned the president and the right-wing app Parler has practically been banned from the Internet. A number of prominent European heads of state and government, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have spoken out against the Trump ban on Twitter and believe that this is a “problematic” move against freedom of expression that should be reserved exclusively for governments and laws, not private companies.

Big number

88 million. This is how many Twitter followers Trump had when his account was banned. This made him one of the most visited on the platform.

Crucial quote

Twitter said it will remain vigilant about the potential for violence in the US for the coming weeks: “Before the inauguration, we will continue to monitor the situation, keep communications with law enforcement open and keep the public informed of additional enforcement measures. “

further reading

“Problematic” and “confusing”: European leader with Trump over Twitter ban (Forbes)

QAnon stated: Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory is gaining traction worldwide (Guardian)

Twitter stocks drop 7% in pre-market trading after Trump was permanently banned from platform (Forbes)

Twitter permanently bans Trump (Forbes)

Parler runs the risk of going offline after bans from Amazon, Apple and Google (Forbes)

Conservative social media app Parler is pretty dead (Forbes)

All platforms that Trump has banned or restricted so far (Axios)

Twitter Bans Sidney Powell and Mike Flynn for Sharing QAnon Conspiracy Theories (Forbes)