Twitter reports more than 70,000 accounts related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory have been suspended following last week’s U.S. riot in the Capitol.
The social media company said Tuesday that it was taking action against online activity “that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” given the events last week in Washington, D.C., where a group of pro-Trump loyalists tried to storm the Capitol building violently.
Multiple accounts were run by a single person in several cases, pushing up the total number of affected accounts, the company said in a blog post.
The company said, “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.”
The sweeping purge of QAnon accounts by Twitter is part of a larger crackdown that also includes its decision to bar Donald Trump from the platform over concerns about further incitement to violence.
The suspensions mean some Twitter users will lose followers, in some cases by the thousands, the company said.
The QAnon conspiracy theory is built on the false idea that Trump is waging a covert war against enemies of the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. Twitter has attempted to clamp down on QAnon before, deleting more than 7,000 accounts in July.
Being Tuesday, Twitter said it is also stepping up compliance measures and will restrict the dissemination of posts that breach its policy of civic honesty by preventing anyone from reacting to them, liking them, or retweeting them. The policy forbids attempts to rig elections and spread false information about their results, resulting in permanent suspension due to repeated violations.