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Twitter has decided to take down 7,000 accounts linked to QAnon. So what is QAnon?

Twitter is taking down accounts of a group known for spreading conspiracy theories.

In this Aug. 18, 2018 file photo man holds a sign that reads “Q-Nited We Stand” during a rally held by members of Patriot Prayer and other groups supporting gun rights near City Hall in Seattle.
In this Aug. 18, 2018, file photo, a man holds a sign that reads “Q-Nited We Stand” during a rally held by members of Patriot Prayer and other groups supporting gun rights near City Hall in Seattle.
Associated Press

Twitter announced this week that it has removed thousands of account linked to QAnon, a group known for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories on line.

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

  • Twitter removed more than 7,000 accounts over the last few weeks.

What is QAnon?

  • QAnon began as a single conspiracy theory that morphed into a group of theories from a person or group of people who go by “Q,” according to The New York Times.
  • The group claims “to have access to government secrets that reveal a plot against President Donald Trump and his supporters. That supposedly classified information was initially posted on message boards before spreading to mainstream internet platforms and has led to significant online harassment as well as physical violence,” according to The New York Times.
  • “QAnon is not conventional political discourse,” Alice Marwick, an associate professor of communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told The New York Times. “It’s a conspiracy theory that makes wild claims and baseless accusations about political actors and innocent people alike.”

What are some QAnon theories?

  • One major theory as of late claims politicians and celebrities work together with governments to engage in child sex abuse and trafficking, according to CNN.
  • The group also agrees that there’s a “deep state” method to hurt President Donald Trump.
  • Per CBS News, the QAnon believers say the “deep state” is connected to a number of major moments from through history, including JFK’s assassination and ISIS. The theory posts presidents have known about these “deep state” connections.

So what’s the problem with theories?

  • BBC News reports that QAnon supporters will often “drive hashtags and co-ordinate abuse of perceived enemies — the politicians, celebrities and journalists who they believe are covering up for pedophiles.”

Congress and QAnon

  • There are some QAnon supporters running for Congress in the U.S. For example, Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia has a shot at winning her seat.
  • “It’s quite likely that a QAnon supporter — or someone sympathetic to the conspiracy theory — will sit in the next U.S. Congress,” according to BBC News.
  • Burgess Owens, the Republican candidate taking on incumbent Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, appeared on “The Common Sense Show” which is a part of the Patriots’ Soapbox news network, a YouTube channel.
  • Owens told the show hosts “thank you for all you guys are doing because I’m just part of the team,” at the end of the interview, according to Deseret.com.
  • Owens and the hosts did not discuss the child sex ring theory on the broadcast.
  • Owens recently tweeted “Colorado chose wisely” to Lauren Boebert, who won a congressional primary in Colorado, who has said she hopes QAnon “is real.”