Facebook Curbs QAnon and Labels it a ‘Militarized Social Movement’
On Tuesday, Facebook Inc marked the QAnon conspiracy theory movement as dangerous and started removing Facebook groups and pages as well as Instagram accounts that hold themselves out as representatives.
‘Search and Delete’ Drill
The step is an escalation of an August policy that banned a third of QAnon groups for publicizing and promoting violence while allowing most to stay, albeit with content appearing less often in news feeds. Instead of depending on user reports, Facebook staff now will treat QAnon similar to other militarized bodies, searching for groups and pages and deleting them, the company stated in a blog post.
Since the August restraints, some QAnon groups have added members, and others used coded language to avoid being spotted, for example referring to “cue” instead of Q. Meanwhile, adherents have worked to include themselves in other groups, such as those concerned with child safety and those critical of restrictions on gatherings because of the coronavirus, according to researchers at Facebook and elsewhere.
“While 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 certain groups,” Facebook wrote.
“QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another.”
Trump likes the Group
Recent QAnon posts have transmitted false information about voting and about COVID-19, researchers said, even claiming that President Donald Trump faked his COVID-19 positive reports in order to set up secret arrests.
Classed as a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI, QAnon is operated by an anonymous internet poster nicknamed Q who claims to be a Trump administration insider. The core, the nonsensical claim is that Trump is secretly running a crackdown against a huge pedophile ring that consists of prominent Democrats and the Hollywood elite.
There has been no rise in arrests, and the fictitious satanic rituals that the group cites resonation longstanding legends used to anger people for political reasons, most of the times against minorities.
Trump has exalted the group as patriotic, and more than a dozen Republican congressional candidates have promoted it.