Facebook completely bans QAnon pages and groups across its platforms
Facebook has completely banned all forms of content related to the radical fringe conspiracy group QAnon with the exception of posts from individual profiles, enhancing the company’s move to the fight against misinformation which it has labeled as militarized social movements.”
This means Facebook will remove pages, groups, and Instagram accounts representing the conspiracy movement QAnon, intensifying the social media giant’s stance against the group.
The company announced the change as an update to its previous moderation step in August that banned about 1,000 QAnon groups.
Facebook over the stand said in a statement, “We are enforcing this updated policy today and will be removing the content accordingly, but this will take time and will be an ongoing process in the coming days and weeks. We have been cautious in enforcing our policy and analyzing its impact on the platform but as we came across many issues we decided to take the step of enforcing today’s update. For instance, when we’ve removed QAnon content that celebrates and supports violence, we’ve seen other QAnon content tied to different forms of real-world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by particular groups, which led to diverting the attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the citizens.”
The company added, “From today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they do not contain any violent content.”
However, Facebook did not specify what it means to represent QAnon in the statement, but media reports said that the platform will consider the name, biography, or about section, as well as any discussions being carried out on the page, group, or Instagram account.
The company has informed that till now it has already removed over 790 groups, 100 pages, and 1,500 ads related to QAnon from Facebook. Also, it has blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram and imposed restrictions on over 1,950 groups and 440 pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram.
It is seen that Facebook had blocked militia organizations like Antifa and removed over 980 groups, 520 pages, and 160 ads. Over 1,400 hashtags related to these groups and organizations on Instagram have also been restricted.
The QAnon Supporters claim that the US is run by pedophiles and child sex-traffickers and President Trump is the only one who can stop them. The group has also been criticized for spreading misinformation and encouraging abuse online.
Facebook says QAnon content, which significances that a secret society of pedophiles is plotting against US President Donald Trump, represents an “identified Militarized Social Movement,” which is prohibited under its current rules.
Facebook is reclassifying QAnon also an extremist militia group, but not at the level of a terrorist organization or full-fledged hate group.
Facebook has recently tried to combat QAnon’s takeover of a hashtag, #savethechildren, by injecting credible information for users to find when searching for child safety content on the platform. It also banned ads praising the movement and other militia and anarchist groups.