San Francisco, October 7
Facebook has announced to remove any Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing the far-right conspiracy theory group QAnon, even if they contain no violent content.
This is an update from the initial Facebook action in August that removed Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon when they discussed potential violence while imposing a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with the movement.
“Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts that represent an identified Militarised Social Movement are already prohibited. And we will continue to disable the profiles of admins who manage Pages and Groups removed for violating this policy, as we began doing in August,” the social network said in a statement late on Tuesday.
QAnon emerged in the US President Donald Trump era and its supporters believe that Trump is waging a hidden battle against a secretive elite known as the “Deep State”.
In August, Facebook removed over 1,500 Pages and Groups for QAnon containing discussions of potential violence and over 6,500 Pages and Groups tied to more than 300 Militarised Social Movements.
Antifa is another anti-fascist political movement in the US, comprising a diverse array of autonomous groups that aim to achieve their objectives through the use of both non-violent and violent direct action rather than through policy reform.
The company said that its ‘Dangerous Organizations Operations’ team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports.
Facebook said it has 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, which diverted the attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.
The US government has been trying to tackle several anti-government extremists, specifically those who support the far-right “boogaloo” movement and left-wing radicals who identify as Antifa.–IANS