Twitter banned several of Trump’s top allies, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump election lawyer Sidney Powell in what the site described as a crackdown on QAnon content two days later that QAnon believers joined with other Trump supporters in violently storming Congress.
The social media giant also permanently suspended Ron Watkins, a former administrator of the QAnon 8kun Conspiracy Theory Center who had become a leading figure in post-election conspiracy theories alleging voter fraud. Watkins, along with his father, had close access to the forum where the anonymous “Q” poster posts, and were accused of being behind the plot themselves.
Flynn, Powell, and Watkins had all promoted conspiracy theories about President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Flynn used Twitter to call on Trump to impose martial law rather than participate in a peaceful transfer of power. Powell and Watkins have promoted a host of conspiracy theories aimed at undermining the legitimacy of Biden’s victory, claims often retweeted by Trump himself.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said the suspended accounts violated Twitter’s rules on “coordinated harmful activity.”
“We have made it clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behaviors that may cause harm offline, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are dedicated to sharing. of QAnon content, ”Twitter said in a statement.
The ban comes a day after Twitter banned libel lawyer Lin Wood, another key promoter of Trump’s conspiracy theories. Wood also promoted QAnon’s ideas, while calling for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence and baselessly accusing Chief Justice John Roberts of being involved in child sex trafficking.
QAnon supporters were prominent in the crowd that stormed into the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory, with a man in a QAnon sweater leading a crowd in pursuit a besieged Capitol police officer in a viral video.
Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by police in the attack, posted the day before the riot on his belief that Wednesday would mark ‘the storm’ – the day that believers in QAnon claim that Trump will violently execute or imprison his political enemies in a fascist purge.
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