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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Facebook Removes Over 790 QAnon Group To Combat Conspiracy Theories

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While US President may back QAnon groups because they praise him, Facebook and other social media giants are not happy with them for spreading baseless conspiracy theories on their platforms. Facebook has, therefore, decided to ban and restrict a truckload of pages, groups, and ads being run by QAnon members.

In an official blog post, Facebook says that it recently “removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook.” It has even restricted more than “1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram.” These QAnon were using a slew of hashtags to feed their conspiracy theories to more users. Over 300 hashtags have been blocked across Facebook and Instagram as well.

The social media giant further details how it handles borderline violent content on its platform. But, the focus is prominently on QAnon and US militia groups. Facebook is looking to not only remove existing pages and groups violating its moderation policy. Instead, it will also purposefully restrict their ability to organize and reach more users on the platform.

“We will also remove [Facebook] Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts where we identify discussions of potential violence, including when they use veiled language and symbols particular to the movement to do so,” reads the blog post. Facebook is following Twitter’s lead to a crackdown on QAnon groups.

The members of such groups were found spreading the conspiracy theory that the US President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Satanic Democrats, celebrities, and other powerful personnel including Bill Gates. Even the FBI identifies QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat, one that’s been linked to various acts of violence.

Facebook has been trying to combat the spread of misinformation and false theories by groups and pages for years. However, it is the need of the hour for the company to now expand its ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organizations’ policy. This enables Facebook to take necessary action against groups and movements that may appear as risks to public safety.

The company has laid out actions it’s taking to protect users against QAnon theories and misinformation spread on the platform. You can check out the steps Facebook is adopting right here.

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