Facebook takes action against content from the conspiracy group QAnon

After Twitter and TikTok had already significantly restricted the reach of the conspiracy theorists, Facebook is now increasingly taking action against the posts of the QAnon group.

A report by the news portal NBC News revealed that there are a large number of groups on Facebook that share content from the dangerous conspiracy group QAnon. The Facebook groups usually have several thousand members. Pages that share the outrageous theories of the QAnon group also have followers in the millions. Since this not only encourages the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation, but can also have serious and dangerous consequences, Facebook announced today that it will take action against such groups and pages. The social media platform wants to consistently delete conspiracy groups on the site in the future. In addition, the guidelines regarding how to deal with the spread of conspiracy theories and content that glorifies violence are to be revised. Facebook explains:

Today we are taking action against Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations and QAnon. [We’re also] expanding our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy to address organizations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety, but do not meet the rigorous criteria to be designated as a dangerous organization and banned from having any presence on our platform.

Facebook takes action against QAnon: Over 790 groups were deleted and 100 pages banned

The announced, tightened measures already affect numerous accounts. Facebook states that

  • over 790 groups were removed from the platform
  • 100 Facebook Pages were banned
  • 1,500 ads of the QAnon group were blocked
  • 300 hashtags related to the conspiracy group were blocked on Facebook and Instagram
  • over 1,950 groups and 440 pages are under observation on Facebook and more than 10,000 Instagram accounts have been restricted

The fact that Facebook is now increasingly taking action against the conspiracy theorists of the QAnon group is a surprising development. Because so far the social media giant has always held back when regulating the content. NBC News noted in the report:

Facebook has been key to QAnon’s growth, in large part due to the platform’s Groups feature, which has also seen a significant uptick in use since the social network began emphasizing it in 2017.

QAnon supporters shot out in Washington

The QAnon movement originally emerged on the 4Chan web platform. A user who called himself “Q” spread conspiracy theories about the US politician and then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the imageboard in October 2017. “Q” claimed that Clinton ran a child pornography ring at a Washington pizza parlor. These false accusations even resulted in a man storming the shop in question with a gun and shooting around him. A real cult arose around the user “Q”, who brought the conspiracy theory into the world. The “Anon” in the group name is an abbreviation for “anonymous”, which is what all users of the 4Chan platform are.


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QAnon: The conspiracy group has already been blocked on other social platforms

Since the group obviously not only causes damage on the Internet, but can also have dangerous effects on the real lives of many people, Twitter and TikTok have already decided to take action against QAnon content. Twitter is now deleting all accounts that are even close to the conspiracy group. TikTok removed two hashtags. Facebook states that it will also take tougher action against content and profiles that are close to QAnon in the future. The platform is still being criticized because problematic content can usually be shared without any problems. But focusing on limiting the QAnon group’s conspiracy theories is a first step in the right direction.



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