Social media giant Facebook announced on Tuesday it was banning all groups, pages and Instagram accounts associated with the conspiracy theory-peddling group QAnon, APA reports.
“Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts for representing QAnon. 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,” Facebook said in a Tuesday press release. “Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports.”
The change was an update to an effort begun in August "to disrupt the ability of QAnon and Militarized Social Movements to operate and organize on our platform," the update notes.
According to Facebook, the social media site took down more than 1,500 QAnon groups and pages in the first month alone for discussing potential violence, and another 6,500 pages and groups tied to more than 300 Militarized Social Movements, which it does not expand upon but later notes includes groups associated with the left-wing anti-fascist ideology Antifa.
In July, Twitter began a similar crackdown on QAnon content.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that grew out of the dark corners of internet chat forums like 8chan, and alleges that US President Donald Trump is doing battle with a cabal of deep-state elites that includes politicians such as Hillary Clinton and investor George Soros, as well as Hollywood stars, who together run a massive child sex-trafficking ring and cannibalistic cult. Other ideas the group reportedly spreads are that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax or that industrial bleach is an effective treatment for the virus.