As part of a broader crackdown on politically-charged misinformation and harassment, Twitter has vowed to reduce the reach of QAnon on its platform.
QAnon is a community of far-right conspiracy theorists known for its obsession with the “deep state,” the unfounded relationship between COVID-19 and 5G cellular networks, and the notion that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros were once involved in child sex trafficking.
Online and in the real world, the community has become increasingly aggressive towards its chosen targets, and anyone who has tried to get in its way.
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” Twitter’s Safety team tweeted on Tuesday. “In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service.”
The effort will impact approximately 150,000 accounts, which can now expect far less visibility on Twitter.
Already, about 7,000 QAnon accounts have been permanently suspected for running afoul of Twitter’s policy against targeted harassment.
Short of shutting down QAnon, Twitter says it will no longer recommend many other QAnon accounts or the content they attempt to spread, while more generally limiting their presence on its network.
Leading up to this year’s U.S. presidential election, Twitter has been taking measures to reduce the spread of false and misleading content.
As part of that effort, the company recently began attaching warning labels to some of President Trump’s more deceptive tweets.
Twitter also recently suggested that users better inform themselves about the articles they share on its platform, which it believed might cut down on specious content.
Last year, Twitter unveiled an early draft of a new deep fake-fighting policy, which would allow the platform to place a notice next to tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media, as well as warn people before they share or like such tweets.
Late last year, Twitter also decided to stop running political ads.