Facebook Inc FB said Wednesday it acted against groups such as QAnon and antifa, movements that it said “celebrated” violent acts.
The social media behemoth said it removed 790 QAnon-related groups, 100 pages, and 1,500 ads on the Facebook platform, At the same time, it blocked more than 300 hashtags related to the group on both its namesake platform and Instagram, according to a statement.
The company said it blocked more than 1,950 groups and 440 pages on Facebook and greater than 10,000 accounts on Instagram related to QAnon.
Additionally, the platform revealed it had removed 980 groups, 520 pages, and 160 ads on Facebook related to militia groups and other organizations that encourage riots, "including some who may identify as Antifa." Fourteen-hundred hashtags on Instagram were also restricted.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led company further declared that "Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with these movements that are not removed will not be eligible to be recommended to people when we suggest Groups you may want to join or Pages and Instagram accounts you may want to follow."
The social media platform will also prohibit Facebook pages associated with such groups from running ads, selling products, or fundraising using its services.
Why It Matters
Analysis of Facebook data indicates the average membership in 10 large public QAnon groups on the platform grew from 6,000 in March to nearly 40,000 in July, according to Storyful, a social media research company, the Wall Street Journal reported.
QAnon is a group of conspiracy theorists that believes child traffickers control the world and are working against President Donald Trump in conjunction with powerful elites and mainstream media, the Journal noted.
Antifa refers to “antifascist”, a left-wing movement that participated in protests around the United States.
In July, Twitter Inc TWTR announced it was acting against QAnon and had suspended 7,000 accounts with relations to the group.
Facebook shares closed slightly higher at $262.59 on Wednesday and fell 0.18% in the after-hours session.
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