Facebook removes QAnon conspiracy group with 200,000 members

Picture of a snake in the shape of a letter Q and the slogan "where we go one we go all"
Image caption This image and slogan has change into an emblem of QAnon

Facebook has deleted a big group devoted to sharing and discussing QAnon conspiracy theories.

QAnon is a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy concept {that a} “deep state” community of highly effective authorities, enterprise and media figures are waging a secret battle in opposition to Donald Trump.

A Facebook spokeswoman stated the group was eliminated for “repeatedly posting content that violated our policies”.

Last month each Twitter and TikTok additionally cracked down on QAnon content material.

Twitter banned 1000’s of accounts and stated it could block QAnon urls, whereas TikTok deleted hashtags that signposted QAnon movies.

The deleted Facebook group, known as Official Q/Qanon, had nearly 200,000 members.

There are, nevertheless, many different QAnon teams which can be presently nonetheless lively on the platform.

QAnon followers are primarily supporters of the US president.

Reuters experiences that Official Q/QAnon “crossed the line” on bullying, harassment, hate speech and the sharing of probably dangerous misinformation.

The FBI final 12 months issued a warning about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” and designated QAnon a possible home extremist menace.

What is QAnon?

By Shayan Sardarizadeh and Jack Goodman, BBC anti-disinformation crew

QAnon is a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy concept that President Trump is having to battle in opposition to a clandestine “deep state” community of political, enterprise, media and leisure elites, typically involving satanic plots and little one trafficking.

QAnon started in October 2017 on the nameless message board 4chan. A person claimed to have top-security clearance throughout the US authorities and signed off their posts anonymously as “Q” – therefore the title QAnon. Q communicates in cryptic posts and claims to be concerned straight in a secret Trump-led investigation of a worldwide community of kid abusers.

QAnon adopted on from the “pizzagate” saga in 2016 – a pretend concept about Democratic Party politicians working a paedophile ring out of a Washington pizza restaurant.

QAnon influencers have massive audiences on social media. They urge followers to “do their own research” – in different phrases, watch YouTube movies and discuss to different supporters – to unravel Q’s puzzles. In its nearly three years of existence, the conspiracy has drawn big visitors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit, attracting a whole lot of 1000’s of devoted followers. This consists of celebrities and dozens of candidates working for Congress this 12 months.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Q influencers have unfold unfounded theories about coronavirus, calling it a “deep state” hoax and have promoted misinformation about face masks and vaccines.