Three years after the theory that President Trump is defending the nation against a cabal of pedophilic Democrats and deep-state operatives gained steam among the platform’s conspiracy-minded users, Facebook announced that all QAnon pages, groups, and Instagram accounts would be deleted. “Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports,” a release on Tuesday stated, announcing the more pro-active approach.
The move is one of the largest actions that Mark Zuckerberg’s massive social media networks have made up unto this point regarding any political group. Previously, Facebook had banned close to 800 QAnon groups discussing “potential violence,” an act that employees reportedly felt did not go far enough. Though there was surely some level of overlap between the soon-to-be-removed pages, an internal audit published in August showed that the top QAnon groups on Facebook had over 3 million members and followers combined.
Other tech firms are also improvising in their approach to the conspiracy theory which the FBI has deemed a potential domestic terror threat, as Intelligencer has previously reported:
In July, Twitter banned thousands of QAnon accounts due to their “potential to lead to offline harm,” while TikTok began blocking hashtag searchers of the conspiracy … Google [also] announced it would block shopping searches related to the conspiracy, saying that the search engine does not condone “products that promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination or violence against others.”
The action may help to deplatform the massive pan-conspiracy, which, according to recent polling, is supported by as much as 7 percent of U.S. adults. (Of course, this minority of adults does not support all of the ever-evolving ideas put forward by its anonymous source.) But it may be too late for Facebook to effectively stop the spread of this mis-information. Adherents are reportedly advising each other to be more cryptic in their public posts about Qanon topics. And with her Democratic challenger now out of the race, GOP House candidate and noted-Q fan Marjorie Taylor Greene is all but guaranteed to represent the people of Georgia’s 14th district, as well as the conspiracy’s nation-wide followers, in the halls of Congress come next year.