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Twitter cracks down on thousands of QAnon accounts

The social network will permanently suspend certain accounts tweeting about the far-right conspiracy theory.

Twitter said it has already pulled down more than 7,000 QAnon accounts.
Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter said Tuesday that it's taking stronger action against thousands of accounts spreading the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, which alleges a so-called deep state is plotting against President Donald Trump and his supporters. 

The company has focused on whether these accounts post content that could lead to offline harm, such as harassment, or violate other rules, including those against spam and platform manipulation.  A Twitter spokesperson said it's already pulled down more than 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking various rules.

The action underscores Twitter's tougher stance against misinformation. The move comes as social media companies face increasing pressure to combat hateful content. 

Twitter said it will permanently suspend accounts that tweet about the conspiracy theory if they've also violated its rules against operating multiple accounts, online abuse or try to bypass past suspensions. 

The company said it's taking other actions to limit the reach of the QAnon accounts. 

It will no longer include these accounts in its trends and recommendations, ensure that it doesn't highlight QAnon content in its search results and block links tied to the conspiracy theorists from being shared on Twitter. 

The actions will impact about 150,000 accounts, NBC News reported earlier. A Twitter spokesperson told the news outlet that the company's classification of QAnon as coordinated harmful activity is new even though the company already has rules against platform manipulation.