Ever wonder exactly how prominent QAnon was on Facebook’s social networks, prior to the company banning the conspiracy from its platforms? We now know.
In an update to a blog post discussing Facebook’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, the company shared how many QAnon pages, groups, and accounts it removed from both Facebook and Instagram.
According to Facebook, the company has removed 1,700 Pages, 5,600 Groups, and around 18,700 Instagram accounts “representing QAnon” since August, when it first began rolling out policies pertaining to QAnon content.
The company also provided additional information regarding those numbers. Facebook explained that while the QAnon Instagram accounts were larger in numbers than Facebook Groups related to the conspiracy, the Groups had many more followers than the Instagram accounts.
Facebook classifies QAnon as a “violence-inducing conspiracy network” under its policy. The company originally prohibited these pages and if they during the summer. The social network broadened its policy to outright in early October.
Those who believe the conspiracy think that President Trump is secretly battling a global satanic pedophile ring made up of Hollywood elites, Democrats, and others. Regardless of the fact that the claims are completely unfounded, QAnon believers have engaged in slander and harassment campaigns against those it believes to be part of this “cabal” that Trump is supposedly fighting.
Facebook also shared that it “identified” over 600 militarized social movements on its networks. As part of its policies, the company removed around 2,400 Pages, 14,200 Groups, and about 1,300 Instagram accounts those militarized movements ran.
While these actions are a positive step, it’s a case of “too little, too late” if you’re one of the families out there who’s lost relationships with loved ones over QAnon conspiracy theories they learned about on Facebook.
On a bigger level, Facebook has a lot more work to do. Regardless of its very recent actions against QAnon, there’s plenty of misinformation and hate speech still on the site, which is designed to spread incendiary information far, wide, and fast. Lots of it is promoted by politicians, who are still allowed to lie on the platform.
An internal Facebook study that leaked over the summer found that more than three million of the platform’s users had joined QAnon-related Facebook Groups.