Facebook said in a Tuesday press release that it “will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon” from its platforms. Although it’s unclear how Facebook is defining affiliations with QAnon accounts, this announcement appears to be one of the broadest bans Facebook has ever has imposed.
The new ban expands on the social network’s previous actions against the conspiracy theory and its followers. In August, Facebook announced that it had removed hundreds of QAnon Facebook groups and pages for “discussions of potential violence.” The company now says it will remove such pages and groups “even if they contain no violent content.” The announcement also comes after Facebook’s announcement last week that will promote credible information about child safety, after QAnon hijacked related hashtags like #SaveTheChildren.
“We’ve been vigilant in enforcing our policy and studying its impact on the platform but we’ve seen several issues that led to today’s update,” the company explained in a Tuesday statement. “For example, 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, which diverted attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.”
Recode has reached out to Facebook for comment.
Facebook has in the past struggled to enforce its rules against accounts that promote the QAnon conspiracy theory. However, in today’s press release, Facebook noted that QAnon frequently changes its messaging strategies in order to evade content moderators and that it will take time for the social network to fully scale up enforcement of this latest policy update.
“We expect renewed attempts to evade our detection, both in behavior and content shared on our platform, so we will continue to study the impact of our efforts and be ready to update our policy and enforcement as necessary,” said the statement.
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