Facebook has faced criticism for its approach to curb QAnon -a fast-growing, fringe conspiracy movement. On Tuesday, the company acknowledged that its previous policies had not gone far enough and unveiled plans to ramp up its crackdown on QAnon by removing any group, page or Instagram account that openly identified with the movement. This change from the social media company sets to toughen its earlier policies regarding the far-right conspiracy movement.
QAnon, at its core, is a rapidly growing movement that believes that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles plotting against President Trump. The movement has also branched into a number of other conspiracies, especially regarding medical advice for dealing with the pandemic – like wearing masks.
“We’ve been vigilant in enforcing our policy and studying its impact on the platform but we’ve seen several issues that led to today’s update,” Facebook said via a public post.
QAnon has amassed followers on Facebook using tactics like renaming of groups and watering down its key messaging. Researchers studying the group said that QAnon’s tactics thus far initially helped it circumvent Facebook’s new rules, but that the policies announced on Tuesday are likely to make that difficult.
Facebook said that it has begun to enforce the changes it outlined on Tuesday, and that it would take a more proactive approach to finding and removing QAnon content, rather than relying on people to report content.