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Conspiracy theorist QAnon demonstrators protest child trafficking on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles
Twitter said Thursday it will extend its restrictions on QAnon-linked accounts and content to political candidates and elected officials who promote the conspiracy theory, a pivot in the company's stance from August when it told Forbes it was "evaluating" an "expansion" of the new policy.

Key Facts

In July, Twitter cracked down on the conspiracy theory, banning more than 7,000 accounts and preventing QAnon content from appearing on sections of its site — but its enforcement policy was murky when it came to elected officials and candidates.

Forbes identified 15 candidates on Twitter — some with a huge following — that were verified on the platform and continued to promote the conspiracy theory with few restrictions.

In August, Twitter told Forbes it was considering a change to its QAnon enforcement policy to include elected officials.

On Thursday, a Twitter spokesperson told Forbes candidates and elected officials will no longer receive special treatment — accounts that promote QAnon "will no longer be actively recommended by Twitter" and users who engage in coordinated promotion of QAnon content (as QAnon followers often do) will have their tweets downranked.

The policy tweak Thursday was part of an broader announcement laying out the framework for how the policy on QAnon would exist moving forward.

Twitter also announced that its July crackdown has helped to reduce impressions on QAnon content by more than 50%.

Crucial Quote

In August, when Forbes asked Twitter how its QAnon policy applied to political candidates, a spokesperson said that its restrictions would not "broadly" apply to candidates and elected officials.

What To Watch For

Whether Twitter's new policy change will lead to further restrictions on candidates that promote the conspiracy theory. Most of the QAnon-linked congressional candidates running this year have kept their verified, blue-check status, helping them rack up massive followings.

Surprising Fact

President Trump has boosted the reach of several QAnon-linked candidates and accounts (he's also refused to disavow the conspiracy theory twice.) Trump has retweeted at least four congressional candidates — all Republicans — who have promoted the conspiracy theory online, helping them rack up hundreds of thousands of followers, including DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, Angela Stanton-King, Antoine Tucker and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Jack Brewster covers national politics for Forbes. Previously, he has written for TIME, Newsweek, the New York Daily News and VICE News. He also launched his own startup, Newsreel, a politics news platform for a young audience. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out his website. Send him a secure tip.