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Twitter, Facebook move further to clean Trump mess


Twitter and Facebook moved further Monday to clamp down on Donald Trump supporters spreading divisive and conspiracy falsehoods.

Twitter said it has permanently suspended over 70,000 accounts that were mainly in operation to share QAnon content.

QAnon is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibal pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal.

QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “Storm”, when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. The conspiracy claim is entirely fictitious.

Facebook said it would remove all content that includes the phrase “stop the steal” leading up at least to the presidential inauguration.

Twitter said enforcement of the accounts began Friday — one of several safety measures the company has implemented in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot.

Of the more than 70,000 suspensions, the social media platform said many of the accounts were operated by a single user.

“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,” Twitter said in a company blog post.

Twitter noted that some its users have experienced changes in their follower counts due its QAnon enforcement.

The company said it also increased enforcement against posts sharing false information about the 2020 election now the Congress has certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Other actions taken by Twitter include barring users from replying to, liking or retweeting posts have been flagged for violations, and prohibiting certain trending topics that violate the platform’s rules.

Facebook on its part said it is “treating the next two weeks as a major civic event,” and using precaution following last week’s fatal siege of the US Capitol, it said in a statement.

“We’re taking additional steps and using the same teams and technologies we used during the general election to stop misinformation and content that could incite further violence during these next few weeks,” the statement said.

The announcement comes less than one week after Facebook suspended President Trump’s account indefinitely.

Twitter also permanently suspended Trump from its platform.


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