QAnon groups and pages flourish on Facebook, report says

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Angela Lang/CNET

An internal Facebook investigation has reportedly uncovered thousands of groups and pages on the social network that support the QAnon conspiracy theory. These groups and pages have more than 3 million members and followers, according to NBC News, which reviewed internal Facebook documents. 

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory alleging there’s a plot by the “deep state” against President Donald Trump and his supporters. 

Facebook has been investigating QAnon groups and pages since at least June, according to NBC News, and may consider treating the movement similar to how it handles anti-vaccination content. Facebook demotes the ranking of groups or pages that spread misinformation about vaccines, and it excludes them from recommendations. Other social networks, including Twitter and Reddit, have also taken action against content supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Asked by CNET about the NBC News report, Facebook on Tuesday said it has teams assessing its policies against QAnon and is exploring additional actions to take. 

“Enforcing against QAnon on Facebook is not new: we consistently take action against accounts, Groups, and Pages tied to QAnon that break our rules,” said a Facebook company spokesperson. “Just last week, we removed a large Group with QAnon affiliations for violating our content policies, and removed a network of accounts for violating our policies against coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Last Thursday, Facebook said it removed a network of fake accounts tied to Romania, some of which posted about various US political topics, including the upcoming November election and QAnon.

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