Social media giant Facebook recently removed 980 groups linked to Antifa along with hundreds of pages and advertisements. In the same move, the company removed almost 800 QAnon groups.
In a blog post titled “An Update to How We Address Movements and Organizations Tied to Violence,” Facebook revealed that it had taken action against Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts linked to offline anarchist groups promoting violence, including Antifa. Facebook also stated that it had removed pages supporting U.S.-based militia organizations and QAnon.
Facebook announced that it is expanding is Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, stating:
We already remove content calling for or advocating violence and we ban organizations and individuals that proclaim a violent mission. However, we have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior.
Facebook listed the number of Antifa linked groups it removed, stating: “For militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as Antifa, we’ve initially removed over 980 groups, 520 Pages and 160 ads from Facebook. We’ve also restricted over 1,400 hashtags related to these groups and organizations on Instagram.”
Nick Martin, editor of the Informant, which tracks hate and extremism in America, tweeted some examples of the Anifa pages removed by Facebook:
UPDATE: Facebook gave me a few examples of the anti-fascist pages it took down as part of today's purge.
The company removed the pages for:
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) August 19, 2020
Facebook also stated that it removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads linked to QAnon and blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram. The social network also imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram.
Facebook promised to keep track of these groups on its platform, stating:
Our teams will also study trends in attempts to skirt our enforcement so we can adapt. These movements and groups evolve quickly, and our teams will follow them closely and consult with outside experts so we can continue to enforce our policies against them.
Read the full blog post at Facebook’s Newsroom here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org