NBC News: ‘QAnon Groups Have Millions of Members on Facebook’

Ari Sen and Brandy Zadrozny, reporting for NBC News:

An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News. […]

Facebook and other platforms face a unique challenge in moderating QAnon communities, said Joan Donovan, director of the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. The platforms act both as the “base infrastructure” for networking and spreading content and a target of the conspiracy theory itself, which frames Facebook and other platforms as “oppressive regimes that seek to destroy truth,” Donovan said.

There were rightwing kook conspiracy cults before Facebook, but Facebook uniquely enables them to grow. QAnon’s existence isn’t Facebook’s fault; QAnon’s prominence is entirely Facebook’s fault.

And they know it. From the same story, italic emphasis added:

“Enforcing against QAnon on Facebook is not new: we consistently take action against accounts, Groups, and Pages tied to QAnon that break our rules. 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,” the spokesperson, who asked not to be named for fear of harassment from the QAnon community, wrote in an emailed statement. “We have teams assessing our policies against QAnon and are currently exploring additional actions we can take.”

How fucked up is it that Facebook has any tolerance at all for a large subculture on their platform that their own spokespeople fear?

Just kick them all off, close every one of the groups and close the Facebook accounts of everyone prominent in the community.

Saturday, 15 August 2020