Facebook has announced that it will ban all QAnon-related accounts, pages and groups across all of its platform, even if they “contain no violent content”.
The social media giant had previously announced a set of measures designed to “disrupt the ability of QAnon and Militarized Social Movements to operate and organize on our platform” back in August.
In the first month of new measures, it removed over 1,500 pages and groups for QAnon containing discussions of potential violence, and over 6,500 pages and groups tied to more than 300 Militarized Social Movements.
It also imposed a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other pages, groups and Instagram accounts associated with the movement.
Its latest update comes as the platform said it believes these efforts “need to be strengthened” when addressing QAnon.
It will now continue to disable the profiles of admins who manage pages and groups removed for violating this policy, as it began doing in August.
The platform is now “removing content accordingly”, adding that this work will “take time and need to continue in the coming days and weeks”.
Its Dangerous Organisations Operations team will also continue to enforce the policy and “proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports”.
According to Facebook, this team comprises specialists who “study and respond to new evolutions in violating content from this movement and their internal detection has provided better leads in identifying new evolutions in violating content than sifting through user reports”.
In a statement, Facebook said: “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.
“For example, while we’ve removed QAnon content that celebrates and supports violence, we’ve seen other QAnon content tied to different forms of real world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by certain groups, which diverted attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.”
It added: “Additionally, QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another. We aim to combat this more effectively with this update that strengthens and expands our enforcement against the conspiracy theory movement.”