Twitter suspends 70,000 accounts linked to pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Twitter announced on Monday it has suspended “more than 70,000 accounts” linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory following the attack on the United States (US) Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The social network began its purge last Friday, shortly after it had permanently suspended Trump’s account for language that could incite violence.

“Since Friday, more than 70,000 accounts have been suspended as a result of our efforts, with many instances of a single individual operating numerous accounts,” Twitter said in a blog post.

“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.”

Most major social media platforms have taken unprecedented action since Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol Wednesday to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win, shocking the US and tarnishing its international image.

Facebook and Twitter have both indefinitely suspended the accounts for Trump, who has refused to accept the result of the November 3 election and spread baseless theories that the vote was rigged.

Both platforms referred to the risk of future violence, particularly before Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Twitter said it also factored in that plans for more armed protests have been proliferating on and off the service, including a proposed second attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17.

File photo shows conspiracy theorist QAnon demonstrators protest child trafficking on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO: AFP