Twitter has suspended the accounts of Donald Trump‘s former election fraud lawyer Sidney Powell, his former National Security advisor Mike Flynn, and the founder of 8Chan – now known as 8kun – for promoting conspiracy theories.
The announcements came shortly before they suspended the account of the president himself.
‘After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,’ Twitter said.
The moves come as Twitter is becoming increasingly aggressive in policing its platform, forcing those in the line of fire to switch to Parler, which is not moderated.
Apple is reportedly now mulling removing Parler from the app store, owing to the inflammatory content circulating on the platform.
Sidney Powell, who served on Trump’s legal team for just over a week, has been banned
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, has also been banned
Ron Watkins, who founded 8Chan – now known as 8kun – has also been banned from Twitter
Trump was suspended for 12 hours on Wednesday night after he incited rioters to storm the Capitol, causing chaos and killing four of his supporters plus a member of the Capitol Police.
His account was then reinstated for 24 hours, but taken down permanently on Friday.
Powell, Flynn and Ron Watkins, the 8kun founder, will also have their accounts permanently deleted, along with other QAnon supporters.
Powell is Flynn’s attorney, and rose to prominence promoting conspiracy theories.
Twitter said the move against them was in response to their repeated promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories – the idea that a ‘deep state’ of former Obama officials is working to undermine Trump, and that Washington is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.
Powell is Flynn’s attorney. Flynn was convicted of lying to the FBI but pardoned by Trump
Supporters of the QAnon theory protest in Oregon in May. Twitter on Friday banned a series of accounts which promoted the idea
QAnon supporters have been prevented by Google from selling their wares
Cartoons promoting QAnon circulate widely on Facebook, and are being investigated
Believers in the conspiracy theory see Donald Trump as taking on a cabal of Satanists
‘The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,’ a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News.
‘We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.’
Twitter explains the policy as preventing harm in the real world.
Powell is being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems
‘We identify groups, movements, or campaigns that are engaged in coordinated activity resulting in harm on and off of Twitter,’ they state.
The Twitter account @TrumpsAlert, which automatically shows follows and unfollows from the Trump family and other insiders, showed that Rudy Giuliani had been following a number of the conspiracy-theory accounts which were deleted by Twitter.
Jared Kushner, senior presidential advisor and Trump’s son-in-law, followed Powell.
When the accounts were deleted, it showed they had ‘unfollowed’ them.
Powell was sued by Dominion Voting Systems on Friday for $1.3 billion after she falsely accused the company of creating means of rigging the vote in favor of Joe Biden.
Watkins, who lives in Japan, has like Powell spent recent weeks pushing false claims about Dominion Voting Systems and the company’s role in the U.S. elections.
QAnon believers’ bizarre beliefs have led to real-world violence.
A man in a QAnon hoodie is seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday
QAnon fanatics have been driven to carry out violent attacks in real life
QAnon supporters have been arrested for threatening politicians, breaking into the residence of the Canadian prime minister, an armed standoff near the Hoover dam, a kidnapping plot and two kidnappings, and at least one murder.
On Wednesday night QAnon adherents were among the individuals at the front line of the storming of Capitol Hill, with a man in a bearskin and a Viking helmet, Jake Angeli from Arizona, describing himself as a ‘QAnon Shaman’.
Others wore QAnon hoodies and insignia. One reporter said the rioters told him they were ‘looking for pedophiles’ inside the Capitol.
Their involvement seems to have driven Twitter’s decision to ban Powell, Flynn, Watkins and other high-profile promoters of the theory.
Jake Angeli, who calls himself the ‘QAnon Shaman’, was among the rioters on Wednesday
QAnon supporters were among those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, killing five
Social media networks have long been concerned about QAnon theories circulating on their platforms.
In July, Twitter announced it had banned 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking its rules around platform manipulation, misinformation and harassment.
Twitter also said it would no longer recommend QAnon accounts and content, would stop such content from appearing in trends and search, and would block QAnon’s internet links.
In August Facebook uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support QAnon, according to internal company documents.
The tech giant has been under immense pressure to clamp down on hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories, both of which are found in abundance on the site.
Last year the company announced new policies to reduce the visibility of vaccine misinformation on its platform, including rejecting advertising and excluding groups and pages from search results that spread ‘vaccine hoaxes.’
Facebook has since June been studying the QAnon movement, and in early removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members ‘for repeatedly posting content that violated our policies.’
It was unclear whether Facebook would follow Twitter and ban Powell, Flynn, Watkins and the others. Facebook is yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request.
Several Republican candidates for Congress have openly expressed support for QAnon, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who won her seat in November and declared that QAnon was ‘a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to take this supposed global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.