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Facebook removes dozens of popular QAnon conspiracy accounts from Instagram


A number of prominent Pro-QAnon accounts on Instagram, which have been spreading right-wing conspiracy theories at a faster pace, were suspended indefinitely on Tuesday under Facebook's new guidelines against violent groups.

One of the most famous victims of the platform's misinformation was user @ little.miss.patriot, who gained nearly 300,000 followers in just a few months by uploading pastel infographics containing false claims about President Trump and Democrats.

"I have no idea how long my site has been deactivated, I cannot log in, I have no information," the account owner, whose real name is unknown, wrote on her backup account, little.miss. patriot.2.

Facebook has come under immense pressure to curb hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories, which abound on both Facebook and Instagram.

The move comes just two weeks after the tech giant removed 900 pages and groups, as well as 1,500 ads linked to the pro-Trump conspiracy group, and restricted the reach of more than 10,000 QAnon Instagram pages.

A number of prominent Pro-QAnon accounts on Instagram, which have been spreading right-wing conspiracy theories faster and faster, were suspended indefinitely on Tuesday

One of the most famous victims of the platform's misinformation was user @ little.miss.patriot, who uploaded nearly 300,000 followers in just a few months by uploading pastel-colored infographics with false claims about President Trump and Democrats

A post confirming the user's suspension will appear on top of a secondary account

One of the most famous victims of the platform's misinformation was user @ little.miss.patriot, who uploaded nearly 300,000 followers in just a few months by uploading pastel-colored infographics with false claims about President Trump and Democrats

Another popular QAnon account, @qthewakeup, also announced on Tuesday that they can no longer access their main page and wrote on another account, "Can't stop, won't stop."

A previous @ greatawakening3 account that claimed to have 117,000 followers has also apparently been permanently disabled.

"Now it starts again," said the anonymous account user in a post.

Some smaller conspiracy theory sites that are still active have been flagged as "false information" by Instagram fact-checkers.

When such an instance occurs, the app blocks the user's post with a warning message and an explainer exposing the false claim. However, a user can still view the post if they so choose.

Right-wing journalist Liz Crokin also posted on an Instagram story that her account had been "attacked" even though she did not offer any further information to support her claim.

Facebook confirmed to Buzzfeed Wednesday that the accounts and numerous other accounts have been deleted in line with the company's new policy against accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support acts of violence amid protests, U.S. militia organizations and QAnon.

QAnon, first published on 4chan in 2017, is the far-right conspiracy theory that a cabal of satan-worshiping child traffickers is planning against President Trump who is trying to expose them.

Neither part of the theory is based on fact, despite a 4-channel user named "Q" claiming access to information involving the Trump administration and its adversaries in the US.

The user accused a number of Hollywood liberal actors, Democratic politicians, and other high-ranking officials of being part of the Cabal.

Another popular QAnon account, @qthewakeup, also announced on Tuesday that they can no longer access their main page, writing on another account, "Can't stop, won't stop".

Another popular QAnon account, @qthewakeup, also announced on Tuesday that they can no longer access their main page, writing on another account, "Can't stop, won't stop".

A previous @ greatawakening3 account that claimed to have 117,000 followers has also apparently been permanently disabled

A previous @ greatawakening3 account that claimed to have 117,000 followers has also apparently been permanently disabled

Some smaller conspiracy theory sites that are still active have been flagged as "false information" by Instagram fact-checkers

Some smaller conspiracy theory sites that are still active have been flagged as "false information" by Instagram fact-checkers

WHAT IS QANON?

Origin: Q Anon started on the marginal website 4chan where a poster called Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official allegedly exposing the intent of a "deep state" cabal, Donald Trump to bring down. Q grew out of the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy that top Democrats from the basement of a Washington DC restaurant were implicated in pedophilia and cannibalism, but quickly picked up pace when "Q" left "clues" claiming Trump would bring the depth down the state. Whenever the conspiracies are found to be false, the supporters argue that the inaccuracies are part of Q's larger plan.

Who is Q ?: Several people can now pretend to be Q on the anonymous 4chan boards

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near the Hoover Dam with a homemade tank on behalf of the movement and later pleaded guilty to terrorism

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near the Hoover Dam with a homemade tank on behalf of the movement and later pleaded guilty to terrorism

Hoover Dam: In June 2019, 32-year-old Matthew Wright, a QAnon supporter, blocked the bridge near the Hoover Dam in Arizona using a self-made armored vehicle with a 90-minute break. He pleaded guilty to terrorism and wrote two letters to Donald Trump from prison, including the deregistration that has become the QAnon motto: "Where we go, we all go."

Michael Flynn: Trump's former national security adviser became a martyr for QAnon believers after accepting a plea deal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and admitting lying about his Russia contacts. The QAnon conspiracy has led Flynn to plead guilty of being a persecuted victim of the deep state – and some even claim he is "Q".

Many believers put three-star emojis next to their Twitter handles. However, the retired three-star general has terminated all affiliation with the group and withdrew from attending an event after finding out that it was being hosted by a QAnon believer.

QAnon believers martyred former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after signing a plea contract with Robert Mueller

QAnon believers martyred former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after signing a plea contract with Robert Mueller

QAnon Political Candidates: Jo Rae Perkins, 64, won the Oregon Republican primary in May to run for a Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. "I'm standing with Q and the team," she said when asked about her interest in the group. She insisted that she go to QAnon forums as an "information source", claiming that the media is too focused on the group. Perkins won 49 percent of the vote against three other Republicans.

Marjorie Taylor Greene took first place in Republican Elementary School in a deep red district in Georgia and will run into a runoff in August. She has admitted to believing in several QAnon conspiracy theories.

Despite Facebook's latest round of deactivating accounts, thousands more accounts promoting QAnon theories remain active on the platform without their posts being censored.

In addition, a number of significant interest lifestyle bloggers who have posted similar content on conspiracy theory have so far had no obvious ramifications for sharing misinformation.

When Facebook announced its policy change in mid-August, it began the process by removing over 790 groups, 100 pages and 1,500 QAnon-linked ads from Facebook, blocking over 300 hashtags on Facebook and Instagram, and additionally restricting over 1,950 groups and 440 pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram & # 39; as of August 19.

Since then, Facebook has tried to deliberately push down QAnon, Militia and anarchist protest groups in its rankings in users' news feeds and in the search engines of Facebook and Instagram.

The groups and accounts no longer appear in the Recommendations sidebar on similar pages.

The new ban also prohibits collecting donations based on hashtags related to these movements on Facebook and Instagram.

Several Republican candidates for Congress have openly expressed their support for QAnon, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican who recently stated that QAnon was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take down this supposed global cabal of pedophiles who worship Satan. & # 39;

On August 11, she triumphed in her runoff election in Georgia, ensuring that she would represent a deep red district in Congress.

Right-wing journalist Liz Crokin also posted on an Instagram story that her account had been "attacked" even though she did not offer any further information to support her claim

Right-wing journalist Liz Crokin also posted on an Instagram story that her account had been "attacked" even though she did not offer any further information to support her claim

Despite Facebook's latest round of deactivating accounts, thousands more accounts promoting QAnon theories remain active on the platform without their posts being censored

Despite Facebook's latest round of deactivating accounts, thousands more accounts promoting QAnon theories remain active on the platform without their posts being censored

Last month, with supporters of the group largely banned from Twitter, QAnon believers began using the hashtag "#SaveTheChildren" to evade bans and recruit otherwise apolitical followers.

A Facebook spokesman said enforcement efforts would continue while the company worked on refining its strategy.

"That does not mean that we have recorded all that we want to restrict," said the spokesman.

“We know 100 percent that they will change their terminology. We don't think we're flipping a switch and this won't be a discussion in a week's time. & # 39;

On August 10, the results of an internal Facebook investigation showed that QAnon websites and groups on the platform had proliferated.

The top 10 groups identified in the research collectively number more than a million members, with the total number of top groups and sites bringing the number of members and followers to over three million.

It is not clear how much the groups overlap.

A small team working across Facebook departments this summer found 185 ads that the company had accepted as "praise, support or representation" from QAnon, according to an internal contribution from more than 400 employees.

A Facebook spokesman said the company routinely enforced its rules for QAnon groups.

QAnon, first published on 4chan in 2017, is the far-right conspiracy theory plotting a cabal of Satan who worships child sex trafficking against President Trump who tries to expose it

QAnon, first published on 4chan in 2017, is the far-right conspiracy theory plotting a cabal of Satan who worships child sex trafficking against President Trump who tries to expose it

Neither theories are based on fact, although a 4-channel user named "Q" claimed to have access to information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the US

Neither theories are based on fact, although a 4-channel user named "Q" claimed to have access to information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the US

Last month, Facebook removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members "for repeatedly posting content that violated our guidelines".

"The enforcement of QAnon on Facebook is not new: We take action consistently against accounts, groups and pages that are linked to QAnon and violate our rules," said the spokesman.

& # 39; Just last week we removed a large group of QAnon affiliates for violating our content policies and removed a network of accounts for violating our coordinated phony conduct policy.

"We have teams that are evaluating our policies against QAnon and are currently looking into additional measures we can take."

Similarly, in July, Twitter announced that it had banned 7,000 QAnon accounts for violating platform tampering, misinformation, and harassment rules.

Twitter also said it would no longer recommend QAnon accounts and content, prevent such content from appearing in trending and search, and block QAnon's Internet links.

On Monday, the social media giant captured a false claim about coronavirus death statistics compiled by a QAnon supporter – a tweet the president himself retweeted earlier in the day.

Mel Q's tweet falsely claimed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had "tacitly" updated their numbers to admit that only 6% of those listed as coronavirus deaths "actually died from Covid "since" the other "94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses. & # 39;

The post has since been deleted and the message "This tweet is no longer available because it violates the Twitter rules." Replaces.