The personal account of the President of the United States was deleted overnight, as well as those of the main figures of this conspiratorial movement. Twitter justifies its decision by the fear of « new armed demonstrations » in the United States.
Donald Trump is not the only one to have seen his personal Twitter account suspended on Friday January 8 : several hundred profiles linked to the conspiracy QAnon were also closed in the same movement.
The theory propagated by QAnon postulates that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a pedophile cabal that secretly controls the US government, and even the world. When the Capitol was invaded on Wednesday, January 6, many pro-Trump demonstrators wore the symbols linked to this movement, which spread widely in the United States in 2020 thanks to confinement, but also to the electoral context.
On January 8, almost all of the movement’s influential figures lost their account, starting with retired Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, an admired figure of QAnon. The account of Ron Watkins, a former administrator of the 8kun unmoderated board, and suspected of being one of the people behind the figure of « Q », has also been deleted. Just like those of conspiratorial « influencers » very followed, including « Praying Medic » or, for French speakers, that of the Quebec conspiratorialist Alexis Cossette-Trudel.null
Attorney Sydney Powell, who has been leading a massive disinformation campaign since Donald Trump’s defeat claiming that a massive voting machine fraud took place during the election, also had her account deleted. On the same day, Dominion Company, one of the largest distributors of voting machines in the United States, announced that it was filing a defamation suit against Ms. Powell – the company is claiming more than $ 1 billion in damages and interests.
An unprecedented but late wave of deletions
Twitter did not explain in detail the reasons for this spate of QAnon-related account closings. But in the statement posted explaining why Donald Trump’s account was finally suspended, Twitter mentions in particular the « plans for new armed demonstrations that have already started to proliferate on Twitter and elsewhere, including plans for a new attack on the Capitol this 17 January ” .
This is not the first time that Twitter has carried out a massive deletion of accounts linked to QAnon – in July, the social network had closed some 7,000 accounts , but these closings had largely spared the movement’s most popular figures. The January 8 series of deletions is generally considered late by movement specialists. « Twitter has finally decided to use the ax rather than a scalpel » , and writes the specialist journalist QAnon Travis View .
Some of the activists whose accounts have been censored have taken refuge on the unmoderated, pro-Trump social network Parler, which appears to be experiencing some disruption in the face of an influx of users and messages. Lawyer Sydney Powell denounces « fascist » censorship and calls on Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency.null
The Talk app was removed on January 8 from Google’s app store, and Apple threatens to do the same if the social network does not provide proof, within 24 hours, that it is in a position to moderate the calls for violence, many on this platform.
source le monde