Facebook Removes One of Largest QAnon Conspiracy Theory Groups After Repeated Policy Violations

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In this file photo taken on May 1, 2020, protesters for conspiracy theorist QAnon demonstrate at a rally to reopen California and against Stay-At-Home guidelines in San Diego.

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP / Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday it had suppressed one of the largest public groups devoted to the QAnon network of conspiracy theories after repeated violations of company policies.

The group, called Official Q / Qanon and numbering nearly 200,000 members, was suppressed after several individual posts were removed for crossing lines on bullying and harassment, hate speech and potentially harmful false information , said a Facebook spokesperson.

The spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, said Facebook took action on Tuesday and was monitoring other QAnon groups as it beefed up law enforcement in the region.

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QAnon followers espouse a series of intertwined beliefs based on anonymous web posts from someone claiming to have inside knowledge of the Trump administration. The basic premise is that President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child sex predators, including prominent Democrats.

Although the FBI has identified QAnon as one of the fringe movements with the potential to encourage extremist violence, a growing number of office-seeking Republicans have praised this loose association.

In May, Facebook shut down a smaller network of QAnon accounts that was spreading false information about the deadly coronavirus.

Twitter last month went further, claiming it would delete or restrict several thousand QAnon accounts.

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