FINALLY: Facebook Bans All QAnon Groups And Pages

Will Sommer reports at The Daily Beast:

Facebook announced a sweeping ban on QAnon activity Tuesday, vowing to delete content related to the pro-Trump conspiracy theory movement on its platforms.

“Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content,” the company said in a press release.

The crackdown follows an earlier attempt to stop the spread of QAnon on Facebook in August. But while that initial purge removed 1,500 pages and groups connected to QAnon for what Facebook called “discussions of potential violence,” the new rule announced Tuesday goes further, deleting QAnon content even when it isn’t directly tied to violence.

NBC News reports:

In the last week, the QAnon community has pushed the conspiracy theory that Trump is not sick with the coronavirus, but carrying out secret missions in a fictitious war that has been predicted by QAnon followers.

Generally, QAnon accounts are also spreaders of coronavirus disinformation, as many followers do not believe the virus exists or that it’s as deadly as scientists say.

With the new and complete ban, Facebook faces new hurdles to identifying accounts and enforcement. Reacting to the partial ban in August, QAnon groups and followers shifted tactics to evade moderation, dropping explicit references to Q, and “camouflaging” QAnon content under hashtags ostensibly about protecting children.