In what NBC News refers to as a "significant escalation" of previous actions taken against QAnon, Facebook is banning all accounts linked to the far-right conspiracy theory. The action applies to all of Facebook's platforms, including Instagram. A company spokesperson says the social media giant wants to limit the "ability of QAnon and Militarized Social Movements to operate and organize on our platform," and that any accounts spreading the conspiracy theory (which centers around President Trump secretly battling a shadow group of Satan-worshipping Democrat and celebrity pedophiles, per this helpful Wired explainer) will be removed.
The spokesperson says the action could take a while; Facebook previously only removed accounts that specifically discussed violence (QAnon has been linked to violent acts), and followers have found ways to get around that partial ban, including by using hashtags like #SaveOurChildren, per the BBC. In the coming weeks, the rep says, "our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports." Recent disinformation spread by QAnon supporters include the theory that Trump does not really have COVID-19, but is actually carrying out secret missions that have been predicted by the conspiracy theory. (Read more QAnon stories.)