MENLO PARK, Calif. (NBC) — Facebook is taking a big step to get rid of disinformation campaigns aimed at swaying the presidential election in the United States.
Both Facebook and Instagram will reportedly remove all accounts associated with the right-wing conspiracy theory known as “QAnon.”
It’s a serious blow to the QAnon internet conspiracy campaign, which claims big-name Democrats, Hollywood stars and the mega-rich are actually child trafficking pedophiles who kill children in satanic rituals.
In recent weeks, QAnon has targeted Joe Biden and suggested President Trump doesn’t really have COVID.
Now, Facebook says it’s taking down all QAnon accounts, saying, “Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports.”
Facebook acted after regular users complained. NBC News reporter Ben Collins explained, “The problem was a lot of users were getting harassed to the point that they couldn’t use Instagram or Facebook anymore. They were getting accused of being a part of this child eating cabal.”
QAnon followers believe someone named “Q” is deep inside the government, sending out coded messages and working with President Trump to dismantle the child-abduction cult.
President Trump has promoted QAnon in his tweets and links: “Well I don’t know much about the movement,” he said, “other than I understand they like me very much.”
The FBI labeled QAnon a domestic terror threat. An early follower went to prison after firing a gun in a D.C. pizza restaurant searching for a nonexistent pedophile cult. Another man used an armored car to block traffic on the Hoover Dam.
Aoife Gallagher analyzes extremist movements world-wide. When asked why QAnon is a digital cult, Gallagher replied, “It has made people become so disassociated with their lives and the people within their lives. Because it almost sends people into this alternative reality.”
So, who’s behind QAnon? Evidence suggests the website is hosted by a pig farmer in the Philippines who also runs racist and pornographic websites.