Source: 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. The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private.
The investigation will likely inform what, if any, action Facebook decides to take against its QAnon community, according to the documents and two current Facebook employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Facebook has been key to QAnon’s growth, in large part due to the platform’s Groups feature, which has also seen a significant uptick in use since the social network began emphasizing it in 2017. There are tens of millions of active groups, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News in 2019, a number that has probably grown since the company began serving up group posts in users’ main feeds.
“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.
Some members of Facebook’s cross-departmental team tasked with tracking QAnon for the internal investigation say they are concerned the company will decline to ban QAnon groups outright, opting for weaker enforcement actions, according to one current employee.
Last week, Facebook removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members “For repeatedly posting content that violated our policies,” according to a Facebook spokesperson.
Full Story @ NBC News