US media is reporting that Twitter has removed the accounts of high-profile supporters of President Trump who promoted the so-called QAnon conspiracy theory. According to an NBC News report:
January 8, 2021, Twitter on Friday removed the accounts of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and other high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory. The permanent bans are among the highest profile that the company has instituted as part of its efforts to crack down on misinformation and calls for violence. Flynn and Powell both met with Trump at the White House in recent weeks as part of efforts to overturn the presidential election results. They are also high-profile figures in the QAnon community, and Flynn even took an “oath” to the conspiracy theory last year. “The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,” a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
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In July of last year, for example, CNN reported that General Flynn had posted a video to Twitter in which he is is “seen using phrases and slogans that are hallmarks of the baseless QAnon conspiracy movement.” CNN also noted that he tagged his post with a QAnon hashtag
The BBC has described QAnon as follows:
At its heart, QAnon is a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media. QAnon believers have speculated that this fight will lead to a day of reckoning where prominent people such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed.media captionTrump on QAnon: ‘They do like me’ That’s the basic story, but there are so many offshoots, detours and internal debates that the total list of QAnon claims is enormous — and often contradictory. Adherents draw in news events, historical facts and numerology to develop their own far-fetched conclusions.
Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reporting on QAnon has included:
- We reported yesterday that Marjorie Taylor Greene, a newly elected member of the US House of Representatives, is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
- We reported last week on the influence of QAnon on the Republican Party in the US.
- We reported in October that Russia’s Internet Research Agency troll farm was attempting to use social media accounts to boost the role of conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon.
- We also reported in October that YouTube had joined Facebook and other social media companies in taking action against QAnon.