Just two months ago, Facebook had no policy on QAnon, a baseless internet conspiracy theory that followers believe without evidence that Donald Trump is waging a secret battle against a global cabal of child traffickers.The movement, which started on niche image boards but gained larger audiences on Reddit, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, has exploded in popularity on Facebook and Instagram in recent months. He has been repeatedly linked with violence and has been viewed as a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI, but has nonetheless garnered growing support from Republican politicians and the Republican Party.
Facebook’s first crackdown came on August 19, when the company announced a series of restrictions on accounts promoting QAnon that ended before an outright ban.
“We have been vigilant in applying our policy and studying its impact on the platform, but we saw several issues that led to today’s update,” the company said. in a blog post. “For example, while we removed QAnon content that celebrates and supports violence, we saw other QAnon content related to different forms of real-world damage, including recent claims that wildfires on the west coast were triggered by some groups, which distracted attention. local officials to fight fires and protect the public. ”
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