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Twitter suspending thousands of accounts spreading QAnon conspiracy

The QAnon theory has ricocheted around the darker corners of the internet since late 2017.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2018, file photo, David Reinert holding a Q sign waits in line with others to enter a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Twitter announced Tuesday it is permanently suspending accounts spreading the QAnon conspiracy theory, saying it has the potential to lead to harm. The action means 7,000 accounts are being banned and 150,000 more will be impacted, NBC News reports.

"We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service," Twitter said in a tweet.

The QAnon theory has ricocheted around the darker corners of the internet since late 2017. It is based around an anonymous, high-ranking government official known as “Q” who purportedly tears back the veil on the "deep state,” often tied to satanism, child molestation and even cannibalism.

"We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension — something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks," Twitter announced.

Twitter said it will also no longer serve content and accounts associated with QAnon in its trends and recommendations, will work to make sure it is not highlighting the activity in searches and will block URLs associated with QAnon from being shared on Twitter.

The changes will be rolled out over the next week, Twitter said. 

President Donald Trump has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts. Followers flock to Trump’s rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.

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