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Facebook To Kill All QAnon Accounts In Run Up To US Election

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) on Tuesday updated its previously announced set of measures against violent movements and organizations.

· 10/07/2020 04:07

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) on Tuesday updated its previously announced set of measures against violent movements and organizations.

What Happened: The Menlo Park-California-based social network said in a statement it would remove any Facebook Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts representing QAnon even if they do not contain any violent content beginning Tuesday.

Previously, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company had said it would remove such social media content only if potential violence was discussed and would only take limited action against accounts associated with the movement.

Facebook said it updated its policy after noticing several issues. The company cited QAnon claims that west coast wildfires were started by certain groups and said such posts diverted the attention of local officials from fire fighting and public safety measures. 

“QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another,” said Facebook.

Why It Matters: In August, the social media giant said it had acted against groups such as QAnon and Antifa that “celebrated” violent acts. 

Facebook said it has removed 1,500 Pages and Groups for QAnon containing discussions of potential violence and over 6,500 Pages and Groups tied to more than 300 militarized social movements.

The latest update from Facebook comes as the U.S. presidential election is less than a month away. CEOs of Facebook, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) are also due to appear in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 28 to testify in relation to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, CNBC reported. The rule protects tech giants from liability arising out of content posted by their users.

Price Action: Facebook shares closed almost 2.3% lower at $258.66 on Tuesday and fell nearly 0.7% in the after-hours session.

Photo courtesy: Mike MacKenzie via Flickr