Facebook Announces Ban on All QAnon Accounts (UPDATE)

The platform upped its efforts to crack down the far-right movement that peddles pro-Trump conspiracy theories and, at times, encouraged violence.


Image via Getty/Kyle Grillot/AFP


UPDATED 10/15, 4:20 p.m. ET: YouTube is cracking down on videos related to QAnon, "Pizzagate" and other content that promotes conspiracy theories, CBS News reports. According to announcement from the company, it's focussing on videos that are used to "justify real-world violence" against both individuals and groups.

See original story below. 

Facebook has banned all QAnon accounts from its platforms.

The social networking giant announced the move on Tuesday, following mounting pressure to effectively crack down on the far-right conspiracy movement. 

"Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts for representing QAnon," Facebook wrote in a press release. "We're starting to enforce this updated policy today and are removing content accordingly, but this work will take time and will continue in the coming days and weeks. Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports."

QAnon has gained a considerable amount of traction throughout Donald Trump's presidency. The movement peddles baseless conspiracy theories about the so-called "deep state"—made up of pedophiles and sex traffickers—that is plotting against the president. And although the FBI has labeled QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat, Trump insisted he doesn't know much about the movement, other than "it is gaining in popularity" and its members liked him "very much."

Trump is asked to shed light on his thoughts about about the lunatic QAnon conspiracy theory. Instead of denouncing it, he says, "I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate."

"I've heard these are people who love our country," he adds, coming close to an endorsement pic.twitter.com/gcvHvuqzIa

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 19, 2020

Facebook and Twitter attempted to crack down on QAnon over the summer, announcing they would suspend a number of QAnon-related accounts in their efforts to curb the spread of misinformation and prevent online harassment. 

"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," Facebook wrote Wednesday. "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 ... Additionally, QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another. We aim to combat this more effectively with this update that strengthens and expands our enforcement against the conspiracy theory movement ... 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."

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