Tech Giant Cracks Down on QAnon

Groups and accounts are getting banned
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2020 3:22 PM CDT
Tech Giant Cracks Down on QAnon
In this Aug. 2, 2018, file photo, a protesters holds a Q sign waits in line with others to enter a campaign rally with President Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Facebook says it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn't banning it outright, the AP reports. Facebook said Wednesday it is banning groups and accounts associated with QAnon and a variety of US-based militia and anarchist groups that support violence. But the company will continue allow people to post material that supports these groups—so long as they do not otherwise violate policies against hate speech, abuse, and other provocations. The QAnon conspiracy theory is centered on the baseless belief that President Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the "deep state" and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

Last week, Marjorie Tyler Greene, a House candidate who openly supports QAnon, won her Republican primary in Georgia. She's part of a growing list of candidates who have expressed support for QAnon. Facebook said it will only remove groups and accounts outright if they they discuss potential violence. Facebook will still restrict the material it doesn't remove, initially by no longer recommending it. As a result of the policy changes, Facebook says it has removed over 790 groups, 100 pages, and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon on Facebook and has blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram. There are 1,950 other groups and 440 Facebook says it has identified that remain on the platform but face restrictions, along with 10,000 accounts on Instagram.

(More QAnon stories.)

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