Facebook is banning QAnon-related Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts, even if they don’t contain violent content.
During the first month of measures against QAnon and Militarized Social Movements, Facebook said it removed over 1,500 Pages and Groups related to QAnon and over 6,500 Pages and Groups related to more than 300 Militarized Social Movements.
The measures had been announced on August 19, as part of Facebook’s attempt to disrupt QAnon and Militarized Social Movements that use its platform to proliferate, operate, and organize.
Facebook now believes further action against QAnon is warranted, so it’s banning it completely. As such, Facebook says it “will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content.”
The initial policy called for them to be removed only when they discussed potential violence, but Facebook also restricted the reach of related Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts. Identified Militarized Social Movements are also already prohibited.
Facebook says it started to enforce its updated policy this week, but that it “will take time” as its Dangerous Organizations Operations team continues to enforce policies and proactively detect content for removal.
“These are specialists who study and respond to new evolutions in violating content from this movement and their internal detection has provided better leads in identifying new evolutions in violating content than sifting through user reports,” Facebook explains in a recent newsroom post.
It’s an uphill struggle, though, as QAnon’s messaging changes all the time, and supporters create audiences with one message and then switch to another. Facebook also says it expects “renewed attempts to evade […] detection, both in behavior and content shared on [its] platform.”
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