Updated: Oct 9
In this episode, we are explaining QAnon and it's battle against twitter. QAnon is a conspiracy theory group that reaches all parts of the internet spreading potential misinformation and outlandish beliefs. Twitter has taken direct action by banning several accounts linked to the organization. Other social media companies may take similar actions as well.
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The information in this episode comes from NBC News, the Twitter Safety account, and CNN Business.
What or who is QAnon?
According to NBC News, “QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that centers on the baseless belief that an anonymous tipster is revealing how President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against a so-called deep state — a collection of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. The conspiracy theory's roots grew from Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington, D.C., pizza shop.”
Is this the same group that coordinated the conspiracy theory about Wayfair trafficking children?
It totally is! It was trending on Twitter on July 10th, 2020. Their motto is Question everything, so they really have any clear objective.
Why Twitter has been banning thousands of accounts that have an association with QAnon?
Twitter announced recently that they have begun sweeping actions to limit access to QAnon content because of problems with harassment and misinformation. I’ll read their official statement:
“We’ve been clear that we will take 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.”
This ban has already led to 7,000 accounts being banned and could lead to at least 150,000 accounts banned because of their affiliation to this organization. The Twitter Safety account continues with the following statement, “We will permanently suspend account Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension - something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks.”
They are violating several usage policies including multi-account policies, harassment policies, and several instances of misinformation.
Where does QAnon reside?
This organization is not only on Twitter, they have roots on Reddit, Facebook, Youtube, and other places on the internet. According to CNN Business, (quote) “Three sources familiar with Facebook's work on misinformation told CNN Wednesday the company is planning to take action against QAnon.”
Twitter isn’t the only one thinking about taking action.
Facebook took a lot of heat when QAnon affiliates were spreading misinformation about mail-in voting. Instead of reviewing and fact-checking, they just provided labeled the posts and directed them to the government website for information on how to vote.
Twitter definitely has taken the most aggressive approach. According to NBC News “Twitter will stop recommending accounts and content related to QAnon, including material in email and follow recommendations, and it will take steps to limit the circulation of content in features like trends and search.” It’ll be interesting to see if other social media companies take similar actions that Twitter already has.