Facebook posted an update to how the company addresses movements and organizations tied to violence. They have taken action against Facebook Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations, and QAnon. This comes after Twitter started taking action agains QAnon accounts last month.
Facebook states that they already remove content calling for or advocating violence and that they ban organizations that proclaim a violent mission. Facebook has expanded their Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy to address organizations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety but do not meet the rigorous criteria to be designated as a dangerous organization and banned from having any presence on Facebook’s platform.
Under this policy expansion, we will impose restrictions to limit the spread of content from Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts. We will also remove Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts where we identify discussions of potential violence, including when using veiled language and symbols particular to the movement to do so.
Facebook has removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages, and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook, blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram, and additionally imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram. Those Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts that have been restricted are still subject to removal as Facebook’s team continues to review their content against the updated policy.
For militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as antifa, Facebook removed over 980 groups, 520 Pages and 160 ads from Facebook. They also restricted over 1,400 hashtags related to these groups and organizations on Instagram.
It should be noted that Facebook says that they will allow people to post content that supports these movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate Facebook’s content policies. What Facebook is doing is an effort to restrict the ability of these groups to organize on Facebook and Instagram.