Facebook announced the new measures on Tuesday, explaining that the decision updates a policy imposed in August targeting QAnon accounts “containing discussions of potential violence,” broadening the ban to any profiles affiliated with the movement. The policy will also apply to Instagram.
“Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content,” the company said, arguing that the group is tied to other types of “real world harm.”
The initial ban on accounts promoting violence saw over 1,500 QAnon pages and groups scrubbed from the platform, as well as more than 6,500 linked to other “militarized social movements,” including Antifa and various militia groups. However, the new sweeping ban does not appear to apply to the other movements, singling out the pro-Trump conspiracy community by name.
The move has been blasted as another clamp-down on free expression online, with even some self-avowed opponents of QAnon deeming it “chilling for free speech.”
Others questioned why the new ban targeted QAnon alone, even as a number of militant left-wing groups openly “discuss which city they are going to burn down next.”
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