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Facebook says it's cracking down on thousands of QAnon-linked accounts and groups

Facebook on Wednesday cracked down on thousands of accounts across Facebook and Instagram promoting the...

Posted: Aug 19, 2020 3:12 PM

Facebook on Wednesday cracked down on thousands of accounts across Facebook and Instagram promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory, as well as a range of militia and anarchist groups, amid what the company said was a rise in behavior among those accounts and groups celebrating violence. Hundreds of groups, pages and advertisements were removed from Facebook as part of the effort, the company said.

As many as 10,000 Instagram accounts and hundreds of groups and pages on Facebook tied to QAnon received additional restrictions, Facebook said.

The ban marks Facebook's latest effort to grapple with QAnon, which includes discredited claims that began on the fringes of the internet but have since become increasingly common on mainstream online platforms and espoused by some Republican congressional candidates.

Facebook said in a blog post that the crackdown is part of a broader expansion of its policies against violence. The goal, it said, was to prevent members of the affected movements from being able to organize on Facebook, not to ban content that expresses support for them.

"Today we are 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," the company said.

Going forward, Facebook said it will not only remove violent content associated with QAnon, US-based militia movements and violent anarchist groups, but will remove posts that "discuss potential violence." Facebook said it will also stop recommending groups, pages and Instagram accounts associated with the movements in users' News Feeds and search results. And it will not allow advertising by pages linked to the movements.

The enforcement action affects 980 groups, 520 pages and 160 ads on Facebook associated with militia and protest movements, including some that "may identify as Antifa," a movement on the left whose name is short for "anti-fascist," some of whose members have advocated for violence as a means of protest, Facebook said.

While setting new rules can often be easier than enforcing them, Wednesday's announcement follows an earlier ban this month of one of Facebook's largest QAnon groups, which had over 200,000 members. And Twitter last month became the first major social network to ban accounts that shared QAnon content.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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