By Sarah E. Needleman
Facebook Inc. said it would step up its crackdown on QAnon, removing more groups and pages devoted to the fast-growing conspiracy movement that has thrived on social media.
The move, announced on Tuesday, builds on Facebook's efforts announced in August to remove QAnon pages and groups that included discussions of potential violence. The company will now ban any pages or groups dedicated to QAnon across Facebook, as well as Instagram accounts focused on QAnon content. The new policy doesn't ban individuals from posting about the movement.
The company said the new policy was based in part on an increased understanding of how QAnon messaging is evolving. "We aim to combat this more effectively with this update that strengthens and expands our enforcement against the conspiracy theory movement," the company said in a statement. Facebook also said it expects renewed attempts to evade detection and that it could update its content policies as needed.
The QAnon conspiracy theory centers on the idea that a powerful group of child traffickers control the world and are undermining President Trump with the help of other elites and mainstream news outlets. Last year a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office warned that QAnon and other conspiracies could spark violence in the U.S., and QAnon adherents have discussed future plans to round up or kill members of the supposedly evil cabal.
(More to come.)
--Jeff Horwitz contribute to this article.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires