Facebook has announced that it will ban groups and accounts that openly support the conspiracy theory, QAnon.
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will remove “any Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts that represent QAnon, even if it does not post violent content.”
Administrators of banned Facebook groups will also have their personal accounts disabled.
A tougher policy for safer social networks, Facebook promises
Facebook says the change is an update to their policy, which initially removed only conspiracy theory accounts that contained posts instigating violence.
The social network has already repressed QAnon and other “militarized social movements” to prevent them from using the platform to promote and organize their actions.
The social media giant removed more than 1,500 pages and groups for QAnon in the first month after the policy was introduced in August.
It has also taken steps to reduce the coverage of thousands of Instagram accounts by limiting recommendations, preventing ads and reducing their appearance on social media news feeds.
But in the new policy, Facebook has focused on profiles that “represent” and openly support the theory, rather than individual content. Accounts that only refer to QAnon in a group focused on different topics will not necessarily be subject to a ban.
The company also warned that “this mission will take time and will have to continue in the coming days and weeks.”
“Our operations team for hazardous organizations will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect disposal content instead of relying on user reports.”
Critics have previously accused Facebook of not doing enough to combat misinformation and hate online.
In July, Twitter banned thousands of QAnon-related accounts and said it would stop recommending conspiracy theory content to prevent “offline harm.”
Meanwhile, Reddit started eliminating groups in 2018 and largely avoided a notable QAnon presence on the platform.
What is QAnon?
Although the QAnon movement has not emerged now, it has long gone unnoticed, so its effects have recently amplified with the increasing use of social networks for information purposes.
It’s just that the QAnon group is misinforming. In short, QAnon formulates all sorts of conspiracy ideas that mislead the public and generally incite violence against certain target groups.
The manipulation and influence of this group has come to infiltrate certain movements that promote social causes, such as the one against child trafficking.
The origins of this movement, it is speculated, could be found in Donald Trump’s supporters, but you will be able to recognize its members even in Romania, after the Q symbol, which it proudly wears.
While the beliefs of this group are at least funny, they are really dangerous and spread easily, both online and offline.
Under these conditions, such actions of large social networks are more than welcome; necessary to stop the flow of false news, misinformation and incitement to violence.