The social network Twitter is actively fighting conspiracy theorists in the so-called “QAnon” movement. The company announced this in a series of tweets on Wednesday night. In this way, accounts that disseminate theories of the scene are blocked and tweets that disseminate misleading content are deleted. This is another step in Twitter’s plan to act against behavior “that has the potential toin the real world, editor’s noteto cause damage “.
In order to implement the plan, the social network wants to delete accounts, disseminate the content of QAnon, violate the multi-account requirements of Twitter, or distribute messages specifically to harm individual victims. Furthermore, QAnon theories should no longer appear in Twitter recommendations or trends, the visibility in Twitter searches and conversations should also be restricted and external websites with QAnon content should be blocked.
The QAnon movement originally came from the imageboard 4chan, on which a user named “Q” published unproven theories about Hillary Clinton’s then presidential candidate in October 2017. In thousands of messages with increasingly eccentric content, a real cult was built around the user, the “Anon” is an abbreviation of “anonymous”. At that time, members of the movement also appeared at campaign events of the later-elected US President Donald Trump – and continue to do so today. He took over and takes over parts of the theories again and again, so he insisted for a long time that his predecessor Barack Obama was not a US citizen because he supposedly lacks a birth certificate.
For several months now, Twitter and, with a delay, the larger Facebook network have been taking action against racism, fascism and hate messages on their platforms. That Twitter is also not afraid of powerful politicians was shown when Trump’s tweets were marked as false statements and fascistoid at the end of May. Later both networks deleted advertisements because they “spread hatred”.
The new measures against conspiracy theories are to be rolled out later this week. Twitter wants to further “closely examine the activities on its platform and adapt the rules and the procedure against them”.