Facebook has been experiencing weeks of pressure and now decided to crackdown on QAnon. The social giant has removed hundreds of groups and pages. The company has also blocked thousands of ads linked to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. The FBI warned it could initiate a domestic terror threat. The recent move is a major effort of the social giant to take on the movement. Point to be noted that Facebook isn’t banning QAnon or its supporters entirely under its new policy. But the company is cracking down on those pages and groups discussing potential violence. Facebook is taking measures to make other QAnon accounts and content less visible. The social giant will also block QAnon accounts from running ads, selling products, or using other monetization features.
Facebook issued a statement and said, “We’ve removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook, blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram, and additionally imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram”. It is noteworthy that QAnon’s reach has exploded since the start of the coronavirus epidemic. The own algorithms of Facebook recommended QAnon content on Facebook and Instagram, have been blamed for helping fuel its rise. The company has also experienced heavy criticism for not doing more to prevent QAnon content from going viral on its platform.
The recent actions from Facebook came weeks after Twitter banned the group. The company’s approach is slightly different rather than trying to root out the conspiracy entirely. Facebook is taking steps to prevent it from continuing to go viral on its services. The company said it will prevent pages, groups and Instagram accounts from appearing in its algorithmic recommendations. Facebook pointed out that it has temporarily removed the related hashtags feature on Instagram. The company said the new rules will also apply to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, an apparent reference to Antifa and US-based militia organizations because these groups have demonstrated significant risks to public safety.