Facebook has announced the extension it placed on QAnon-related content to all its social platforms. Recall that the social media giant had last August placed a ban on content related to QAnon–a group sympathetic to US President Donald Trump.
“Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content. This is an update from the initial policy in August that removed Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon when they discussed potential violence while imposing a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts associated with the movement.”
While Facebook’s decision to further limit the influence of QAnon is commendable, this is coming a bit too late considering how other social media companies like Twitter had made quick moves to tackle the group.
In July, Twitter vowed that its platform would no longer welcome right-wing conspiracy theories also known as QAnon. The microblogging company said it would begin treating QAnon content on its platform differently. Going forward, the company said it would remove related topics from its trending pages and algorithm recommendations. It went further to add that it would rid its platform of all associated URLs, and permanently suspend any accounts tweeting about QAnon that had previously been suspended.
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service,” the social media giant said via its official page.
Twitter said it would permanently suspend such accounts as part of measures to keep its platform safe for all “We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension— something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks.”
Also in July, TikTok joined Twitter, Facebook and Reddit to come down hard on QAnon content by banning all hashtags related to the conspiracy. That said, TikTok said it would not be removing videos using the hashtags from its platform. All content related to “QAnon,” “QAnonTruth” and the related phrase “Out of Shadows,” often used by QAnon believers are now being blocked by the video sharing app.
TikTok’s decision to block or restrict “QAnonTruth” searches following a question from the BBC’s anti-disinformation unit, which noticed that conspiracy videos using such hashtags had spiked. The video-sharing app was concerned that such information if allowed to continue to have a free reign could cause harm to the general public.