Facebook bans QAnon accounts across all platforms

Tech giant says it is a big change to a policy only introduced in August

Graeme Massie
Wednesday 07 October 2020 00:17
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Facebook is banning QAnon accounts from across all its platforms, the social media firm has announced.

The tech giant says it is a significant change in its policy, that was only implemented in August, which removed 1,500 accounts and groups relating to QAnon conspiracy theories that discussed violence.

Facebook said that the policy “will bring to parity what we’ve been doing on other pieces of policy with regard to militarised social movements,” such as militia and terror groups.

“Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts for representing QAnon,” said Facebook in a statement.

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

“Our Dangerous Organisations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports.”

QAnon has been described by the New York Times as a "sprawling internet conspiracy theory that has taken hold among some of President Trump’s supporters.”

It is a conspiracy theory that claims that high-profile Democrats and Hollywood celebrities are members of a child-eating group that is being secretly battled by the president.

It is based on postings by an anonymous user called Q on the “8kun” message board, who has wrongly been predicting since 2017 that prominent Democrats would be rounded up for execution.

In the past week QAnon has claimed that Mr Trump is not suffering from coronavirus but has been carrying out secret missions in their predicted war.

They have also been convinced that Joe Biden wore a wire during the first presidential debate and have been waiting for new information that would reveal the Russian probes as a hoax.

With the Facebook ban having been predicted since the summer, many members of the group have tried to avoid moderation by dropping “Q” references and hiding content under child protection hashtags.

Just last month Twitter announced that its own QAnon crackdown had cut down related tweets by 50 per cent.

Donald Trump has previously praised the far-right group, saying that its supporters “like me very much” and that they “love America.”

The FBI identified conspiracy theory groups, such as QAnon, as domestic terrorists in 2019.

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