Written by @kristenshylin_
According to The New York Times, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it removed 790 QAnon groups from its site.
The social network also said that it restricted an additional 1,950 groups, 440 pages, and more than 10,000 Instagram accounts linked to pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon.
As stated by The Wall Street Journal, QAnon, founded four years ago, is “a far right-wing, loosely organized network and community of believers who embrace a range of unsubstantiated beliefs.”
QAnon supports the idea that a coalition of Satan-worshipping pedophiles—referring to influential Democrats, politicians, journalists, entertainment moguls, and other established figures—are trying to undermine Donald Trump with the help from the media.
Facebook decided to take action against the rapid spread of QAnon content and anarchist groups throughout the pandemic.
According to data obtained by The Times, QAnon group activity on Facebook, such as likes, comments, and shares, rose 200 to 300 percent within the past six months.
“We have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior,” Facebook said in a recent statement.
In efforts to expand the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, the company vowed to remove pages, groups, and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon as well as similar groups that promote violence.
“While we will allow people to post content that supports these movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate our content policies, we will restrict their ability to organize on our platform,” the statement continued.
Although Facebook has yet to declare the removal of paid content that praises and supports the conspiracy theory group, it said such content will not be accessible on the platform’s Marketplace and Shop features.
“Our teams will also study trends in attempts to skirt our enforcement so we can adapt,” the statement added. “These movements and groups evolve quickly, and our teams will follow them closely and consult with outside experts so we can continue to enforce our policies against them.”
Facebook’s new move comes after Majorie Taylor Green, an active supporter of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, won the Georgia primary this month with the possibility of being elected into Congress in November.