Facebook Purges 790 QAnon Groups, Says Movement Has ‘Celebrated Violent Acts’

Another 1,950 groups, 440 pages and 10,000 Instagram accounts had new restrictions put on them, limiting their reach

Facebook on Wednesday said it had deleted 790 QAnon groups, while also taking action against thousands of other pages connected to the right-wing conspiracy theory.

“We have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior,” Facebook said in a statement.

Another 1,950 groups and 440 pages on Facebook, along with 10,000 Instagram accounts, had new restrictions placed on their accounts on Wednesday; the restrictions will “limit the spread of content” from these accounts, according to Facebook.

If you’re not familiar with QAnon, here’s how The New York Times summarized the movement on Wednesday:

“QAnon was once a fringe phenomenon — the kind most people could safely ignore. But in recent months, it’s gone mainstream. Twitter, Facebook and other social networks have been flooded with QAnon-related false information about Covid-19, the Black Lives Matter protests and the 2020 election. QAnon supporters have also been trying to attach themselves to other activist causes, such as the anti-vaccine and anti-child-trafficking movements, in an effort to expand their ranks.”

Previously, QAnon has said there was a deep state conspiracy to take down President Trump, led by a group running a covert child sex-trafficking ring.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pew released new research showing nearly 75% of Americans believe social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are censoring posts based on political views. You can read the full report here.