Facebook Bans QAnon Conspiracy Theory

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Two months after Twitter clampdown, Facebook follows suite and bans content linked to conspiracy theory QAnon on its platforms

Facebook has said it will ban any pages, groups, and Instagram accounts representing the conspiracy theory QAnon from its platform.

QAnon for those that don’t know, is a far-right conspiracy that allege there is a “deep state” campaign against US President Donald Trump and his supporters. Essentially QAnon touts there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophiles who rule the world, and who control politicians, the media. and Hollywood.

Twitter in July this year announced that content and accounts associated with QAnon were being permanently suspended, as part of its fight to halt the spread of misinformation on its platform,

QAnon conspiracy

It should be noted that in 2019 the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat, and Facebook this year removed a US network of fake accounts linked to QAnon.

But now Facebook has announced it is going one step further and will ban its content, despite being accused of allowing the conspiracy to grow and spread for the past three years.

“On August 19, we announced a set of measures designed to disrupt the ability of QAnon and Militarized Social Movements to operate and organise on our platform,” the social network wrote.

It said that within the first month, it had removed over 1,500 Pages and Groups for QAnon containing discussions of potential violence and over 6,500 Pages and Groups tied to more than 300 Militarised Social Movements.

But Facebook said more action was needed.

“Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content,” said the network.

“This is an update from the initial policy in August that removed Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon when they discussed potential violence while imposing a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with the movement.”

“We are starting to enforce this updated policy today and are removing content accordingly, but this work will take time and need to continue in the coming days and weeks,” it added.

“We expect renewed attempts to evade our detection, both in behaviour and content shared on our platform, so we will continue to study the impact of our efforts and be ready to update our policy and enforcement as necessary,” it concluded.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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