Over the past month, Facebook and other tech giants have ramped up their efforts to censor what they say is conspiracy theory content.
And today, Facebook announced that it has removed 20 accounts, six groups, and five pages linked to “individuals associated with the QAnon network known to spread fringe conspiracy theories.”
QAnon followers believe that a high-level government insider or group of insiders who are working to bring down the Deep State (a cabal that operates independently of elected officials to promote their own interests and ideologies) share their plans through online posts made by an anonymous user account named “Q.”
The tech giant claims that these QAnon accounts, groups, and pages were removed as part of its “internal investigations into coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of the 2020 election in the US.”
Specifically, Facebook accused these accounts, groups, and pages of “seeking to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing while relying on fake accounts.”
The takedown of the accounts is the latest of several sanctions Facebook and other social media platforms have applied to content it deems to be a conspiracy theory.
And at the end of April, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan discussed an “Intelligence Desk” that YouTube uses to target emerging conspiracy theories and said that this tool had “come in handy” for striking content about 5G and the coronavirus.
In the UK, Greater Manchester Police even asked residents to call the police if someone repeats a conspiracy theory in a now-deleted Facebook post which was widely criticized.
The end result of this crackdown on conspiracies is that instead of people being free to discuss and debate different ideas, certain perspectives are being silenced under the guise of protecting people from misinformation.