Facebook has banned all forms of content related to the radical fringe conspiracy group QAnon with the exception of posts from individual profiles, marking the company’s most dramatic escalation in the fight against misinformation and what Facebook is calling “militarized social movements.” The company announced the change on its website as an update to its previous moderation sweep in August that banned close to 1,000 QAnon groups.
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“Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content. This is an update from the initial policy 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,” the company writes in its update. A Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge.
Facebook says QAnon content, which purports that a secret society of pedophiles is plotting to against US President Donald Trump, represents an “identified Militarized Social Movement,” which is prohibited under its current rules. In other words, Facebook is reclassifying QAnon as no different than an extremist militia group, but not quite on the level of a terrorist organization or full-fledged hate group.