Facebook said it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn’t banning it outright.
Facebook said Wednesday it is banning groups and accounts associated with QAnon as well as a variety of U.S.-based militia and anarchist groups that support violence. But the company will continue to allow people to post material that supports these groups, so long as they don’t violate policies against hate speech, abuse and other provocations.
QAnon groups have flourished on Facebook in recent months, and experts say social media has aided the rise of the fringe movement. Twitter announced a similar crackdown recently and TikTok has banned QAnon altogether from its searches, along with related terms such as “WWG1WGA,” shorthand for the group’s motto “Where We Go One, We Go All.”
“Facebook’s actions today may ultimately come to be viewed as ‘too little, too late,’ said Ethan Porter, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. “It will probably make a dent. But will it solve the problem? Not at all. At this point, the most fervent QAnon believers are not only entrenched on the platform, but likely heading to the halls of Congress. Yet this may give them trouble with new recruits.”