It’s been three years and Facebook is banning QAnon pages, groups and posts that represent the conspiracy theory.
QAnon is a viral, pro-Trump conspiracy theory that alleges that Donald Trump was elected to take down a cable of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who are running a global sex-trafficking ring. Conspiracy theorists who follow this belief believe that Democrats, along with other elites, are the alleged group of pedophiles that Trump is supposedly trying to take down.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it would be banning any pages or groups that spread the untrue theory. It took them three years to do it, which means the number of pages, groups and posts have grown rampantly and now many Republicans have spoken out in support of QAnon. Trump also praised QAnon followers back in August, CNN reports. “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said during a White House briefing.
While the site is just now taking care of the issue, in August, Facebook terminated thousands of accounts that were promoting QAnon, as well as several militias and anarchist groups in the midst of the company trying to rod its site of violent groups. QAnon accounts are also responsible for spreading false information about the #coronavirus. Scientists say the misinformation can be detrimental to the country. “We have to think about the QAnon networks as the rails upon which misinformation is driven,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“Every account, event and page are tracks where disinformation can be spread. so it is imperative that Facebook dismantle their infrastructure. Without Facebook, they are not rendered inert, but it will make it more difficult to quickly spread disinformation.” She continued: “Of course, this all could have been done sooner, before Q factions aligned with militia groups and anti-vaxxers, to curtail the spread of medical misinformation and the mobilization of vigilante groups.”