Twitter has removed over 70,000 accounts associated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory after several of its followers participated in the pro-Trump Capitol riot last week. In a statement shared on Tuesday (Jan. 12), the social media platform said it was cracking down on online behavior “that has the potential to lead to offline harm.”
“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 statement read.
The company explained that many of the accounts were likely operated by one user. Twitter began their sweep of QAnon-associated and other accounts on Friday (Jan. 8), which also included permanently suspending Donald Trump’s account.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the [Donald Trump] account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company announced at the time, just days after Trump’s words incited a violent insurrection at the Capitol.
After blocking Trump’s account, Twitter also released an analysis of his supporters’ tweets; which, they said, indicate that a second attack on the Capitol is imminent.
“Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,” the company said in a statement.
Several other measures have been enacted this week to prevent pro-Trump violence from occurring during Joe Biden’s inauguration. On Monday (Jan. 11), Trump himself issued an emergency declaration in Washington, D.C., which allows agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in local security efforts. The Secret Service and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies have also reportedly joined forces to ramp up safety measures in the city.