Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) Crackdown Badly Hits QAnon Groups

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) early this month shut down the biggest QAnon Facebook group, and new ones have been cropping up ever since. To protect US citizens and the world, Facebook has deleted over 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads created by the pro-Trump supporters.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory group that believes President Donald Trump is saving the world from evil-minded cannibals. The group has a reputation of hijacking trains, murder, kidnapping, and several criminal incidences punishable by law.

Facebook has imposed a new policy that says, “Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with these movements and organizations will be removed when they discuss potential violence.” Together with other militia organizations, the violent group will no longer be allowed to purchase Facebook ads, which they used to sell merchandise. “We have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest that they will use them…” Facebook representative said.

The group has had over 10,000 Instagram pages and 2000 Facebook groups, with nearly 200,000 people supporting the conspiracy theory, which has caused worldwide violence. Following the crackdown and recent ban on Twitter as well, QAnon supporters quickly changed to the hashtag #SaveTheChildren to escape the ban and recruit new followers. The militia and violent movements, and QAnon will have to develop new ways to market their theory as all social networks are keen on banning all possible channels of communication and recruitment.

With the new policy in place, Facebook will also down-rank searches related to QAnon and anarchist protest groups and limit users’ views on Facebook and Instagram. The groups will also no longer feature on ‘recommendations’ which is a specialized feature for groups and pages. The Facebook and Instagram policy also seeks to ban all possible fundraising hashtags related to the three movements. The groups’ activity on social media skyrocketed to almost 100% since the Corona Virus pandemic this year.

The policy-enforcement team at Facebook has vowed to closely follow trends and collaborate with outside experts to enforce the new policy.

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