Facebook is banning all pages, groups, and accounts associated with QAnon, the company announced on Tuesday, in the most significant action taken against the mass delusion that has seeped into the highest level of American politics.
“Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon,” the company said in a press release. “We’re starting to enforce this updated policy today and are removing content accordingly, but this work will take time and will continue in the coming days and weeks.”
The move comes after the social network announced in August that it would attempt to disrupt the ability of QAnon and other militarized movements to organize on Facebook and Instagram. That enforcement action led to the removal of 1,500 QAnon pages and groups, though individual accounts tied to the collective delusion remained on the network.
As of Tuesday, however, Facebook said it would remove any pages, groups, and Instagram accounts representing Qanon, even if they had no association with violent content.
QAnon is a set of outlandish beliefs that first came together in 2017 on an anonymous message board. It was an outgrowth of another conspiracy theory, Pizzagate, which falsely claimed that prominent Democratic politicians were running a child trafficking operation in the basement of a DC pizzeria. (The pizzeria didn’t have a basement.)
QAnon followers believe a cabal of satanic elites rules the world. They’re also largely — though not wholly — supporters of President Donald Trump and believe he is fighting against the so-called deep state.
Trump has praised QAnon, which the FBI called a domestic threat, saying, “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand that they like me very much, which I appreciate.” He went on to say they were “people who love our country” and claimed they’re “saving