Facebook has started deleting pages and groups on the platform that were supporting QAnon. One of the first casualties has been Radio-Québec, one of Quebec’s most noteworthy alternative media outlets.
The move follows Facebook’s announcement that it would take down groups or pages associated with QAnon. Radio-Québec’s Facebook page had more than 75,000 followers at the time it was suspended.
“We’re now eradicating Pages, Teams and Instagram accounts representing QAnon together with Radio-Québec. It should take time to implement this coverage and we might be prioritizing this work over the approaching days and weeks,” said Facebook to CBC.
The media outlet Radio-Québec is run by Alexis Cossette-Trudel from Montreal. For the past few months, Radio-Québec’s focus has made suggestions that the severity of the coronavirus was being overplayed to undermine President Donald Trump, making the outlet a prime target for censors.
With growing time, QAnon followers are reported to have grown into the millions, with 56% of Republicans supporting at least some aspects of the movement.
Social media platforms have moved to suppress the movement. While voices from some lawmakers and commentators have questioned the motives of platforms for taking such a blanket-ban approach to content that doesn’t otherwise violate their terms, more mainstream outlets have supported the bans.
Cossette-Trudel has also gained recent prominence and spoken at several anti-mask demonstrations, something Facebook is also deleting.
Disgruntled by Facebook’s decision to shut Radio-Québec’s page, Cossette-Trudel said that he was being censored by the Big Tech platform and that Facebook was a “guard dog of the powerful.” “They want to shut us down because we are the only ones with a dissenting point of view,” he told CBC Montreal.
What’s more, Cossette-Trudel revealed that he had stopped referring to QAnon directly for a while now.