Last Updated on January 18, 2021
A new video from Project Veritas reveals Twitter not only banned QAnon accounts, but attempted to link anyone questioning the election results to QAnon.
Two days after the protests on Capitol Hill earlier this month, conservatives and Trump supporters on Twitter noted that tens of thousands of followers were disappearing from their follower counts. Twitter initially claimed that the “fluctuations in follower counts” was purely down to challenging accounts suspected of spam – the next week, the Big Tech company admitted that they had started a mass ban of over 70,000 accounts.
In a statement, Twitter said all the accounts banned were “engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.” This led to backlash, with many arguing that Twitter had clearly lied about the mass bans, with others doubting the true number of accounts taken down.
Why lie two days ago? pic.twitter.com/KmcyuRiH3l
— LB (@beyondreasdoubt) January 12, 2021
However, a new video from Project Veritas suggested that Twitter had not only taken down accounts linked to QAnon, but also any account who may be propagating the idea that the election was massively fraudulent, a far wider net to catch.
The video shows a meeting from the day after the Capitol Hill protest, which involved discussions between high level Twitter executives, including Jack Dorsey, Julie Steele, the head of Internal Comms, and Vijaya Gadde, the head of Legal at Twitter’s Policy and Trust team. Gadde said the protests were “really concerning” to Twitter,” so much so that they decided to “escalate” enforcement of their Civic Integrity policy.
Gadde revealed that Twitter wanted to “stop the spread of potentially inflammatory content” to put a stop to “potential violence.” This content included anything related to “election interference, election fraud, stealing the election, that type of thing”:
We think that the severity of what’s happening on the ground, coupled with the information that’s contained in these tweets, this misleading information about the election being stolen and massive fraud around the election, are what is changing our analysis of how we should enforce this policy. [Tweets about voter fraud are] a much more severe violation given what we’re seeing on the ground…
We made the decision yesterday that we’re going to actually be more aggressive in our enforcement beyond deamplification… For accounts that are a primary purpose, spreading QAnon theories… we are going to be permanently suspending those accounts.
The difference between the initial statement of cracking down on “the propagation of this conspiracy theory” and accounts “spreading QAnon theories” [emphasis added], suggests that accounts who did not engage in anything directly related to QAnon themselves, but shared stories or ideas that QAnon accounts also disseminated, may have been caught up in the mass bans.
National File reported on the first leak from Project Veritas from Twitter last week, which shows CEO Jack Dorsey telling staff that the platform’s censorship policies are going to be “much bigger” than simply banning President Donald Trump, and will “go on for much longer” as part of a “much broader approach” to restricting non-liberal speech.
You can watch the full video from Project Veritas below: