Online networks Facebook and Instagram are tightening up their crackdown on the QAnon movement, which spreads conspiracy theories and backs US President Donald Trump. As the group announced Tuesday, all Facebook pages and groups and all Instagram accounts with connections to QAnon will be deleted “even if they do not have any violent content.”
By August, Facebook had already removed some 800 groups, 100 pages and 1,500 ads with connections to QAnon from its network. Restrictions were also placed on more than 10,000 Instagram accounts, 440 Facebook pages and nearly 2,000 Facebook groups to limit the reach of QAnon content. More than 300 so-called hashtags – or keywords – related to QAnon were therefore blocked in both networks.
The short-messaging service Twitter had previously deleted thousands of accounts with connections to QAnon.
The QAnon movement is spreading the claim that the US is ruled by a criminal organization that includes former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, billionaire George Soros and several Hollywood stars. Many QAnon messages are anti-Semitic and extreme right-wing in nature.
There are many Trump supporters among the QAnon supporters. Supporters of the movement also recently took part in protests against the US corona restrictions. After the Facebook decision in August, Trump said he didn’t know much about QAnon. The movement’s supporters are “people who love our country”.
The US is increasing the pressure on online networks
In the US and other countries, the pressure on the operators of major online networks to act against hate speech and false information has increased significantly in recent months.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen nachrichtlichen Entwicklungen live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
In the US, the debate over such online messages will be particularly intense in view of the presidential election on November 3. Facebook and other internet companies have already taken various measures in recent months against inflammatory, manipulative and misleading messages on their pages.
Facebook on Thursday removed US President Trump’s election ads critical of refugees from its network. (AFP)