As we wrote when 150,000 “QAnon” accounts were banned from Twitter: it is completely impossible to tell the difference between “QAnon content” and “normal boomer MAGA content.”
In fact, what any objective analysis of this content would conclude is that there is no difference, and that when social media companies target “QAnon content,” they are simply targeting Trump-supporters, deleting or blocking these accounts wholesale under the guise of a conspiracy theory that has gotten a lot of negative press.
Obviously, QAnon people deserve their freedom of speech as much as anyone, but there is virtually no chance that when Facebook talks about “3 million QAnon accounts,” they are not primarily just talking about normal Trump-supporters.
An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News.
The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private.
The top 10 groups identified in the investigation collectively contain more than 1 million members, with totals from more top groups and pages pushing the number of members and followers past 3 million. It is not clear how much overlap there is among the groups.
The investigation will likely inform what, if any, action Facebook decides to take against its QAnon community, according to the documents and two current Facebook employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The company is considering an option similar to its handling of anti-vaccination content, which is to reject advertising and exclude QAnon groups and pages from search results and recommendations, an action that would reduce the community’s visibility.
An announcement about Facebook’s ultimate decision is also expected to target members of “militias and other violent social movements,” according to the documents and Facebook employees.
“Enforcing against QAnon on Facebook is not new: we consistently take action against accounts, Groups, and Pages tied to QAnon that break our rules. Just last week, we removed a large Group with QAnon affiliations for violating our content policies, and removed a network of accounts for violating our policies against coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the spokesperson, who asked not to be named for fear of harassment from the QAnon community, wrote in an emailed statement. “We have teams assessing our policies against QAnon and are currently exploring additional actions we can take.”
This whole “unnamed spokesperson” phenomenon is also completely new, and that is something you’re going to be seeing a lot of.
Remember that the same establishment media that supports the phenomenon of “unnamed spokespeople” supports the doxing and persecution of people who post right-wing content on the internet.
The potential crack down follows a campaign from mainstream advertisers as well as lawmakers to curtail misinformation and hate speech on Facebook. Along with a significant summer advertising boycott, 20 state attorneys general and the congressional Democratic Women’s Caucus wrote separate letters last week urging Facebook to enforce its policies and clean up its platform.
Some members of Facebook’s cross-departmental team tasked with tracking QAnon for the internal investigation say they are concerned the company will decline to ban QAnon groups outright, opting for weaker enforcement actions, according to one current employee. Those employees have shared concerns with one another that QAnon could influence the 2020 election, the employee added, noting that the pages and groups most likely violate Facebook’s existing policies against misinformation and extremism.
Facebook has taken down QAnon accounts before, but previous removals have been based on behavior rather than content that violated policy. Last week, Facebook removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members “for repeatedly posting content that violated our policies,” according to a Facebook spokesperson. In May, Facebook purged a small section of the U.S. QAnon community that included five pages, six groups and 20 profiles, citing “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” whereby accounts work together to push content and obscure their own networks.
What it appears is that in the weeks before the election, the social media companies are planning on just doing one big sweep and completely deleting all content supportive of President Trump at once, leaving anyone who uses these services flooded with anti-Trump material in the remaining time leading up to the election.
Of course, most effective pro-Trump content (cough, cough – Daily Stormer) was deleted a long time ago, and over the past months, we’ve seen a lot more pro-Trump content purged, with normie conservatives like Stefan Molyneux catching a ban.
Currently, Donald Trump is doing nothing about this censorship, and is instead inexplicably cracking down on TikTok, a social media company that is not involved in widescale election meddling.
The other element of this, of course – which should scare you – is that they are preparing for after the election, should Joe Biden win. If Biden wins, you are going to see a massive crackdown on all content that portrays any kind of reality about what is going on in the world.
As we have seen, the mainstream media wants to be able to say that the riots in Portland and elsewhere are “a myth.” They want to be able to say that the violence of Antifa and Black Lives Matter is done by “white supremacists.” If they shut down all competing outlets of information, this will mean they can tell these kinds of idiotic lies with impunity. No one will be able to question them.
Yesterday, Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler called Antifa violence in Portland "a myth that's being spread only in Washington, D.C."
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 29, 2020
Attorney General William Barr recently said in his interview with radio host Mark Levin that the media is pushing a “narrative” about what is going on in this country, but that people are able to see what is actually happening from “citizen journalists.”
Well, when we talk about “citizen journalists” covering these riots, we’re pretty much talking about Andy Ngo and just a few other accounts on Twitter. It would be very, very easy to wipe this out, and make these riots disappear from the public mind.
The only people who would know about the riots would be the targets of these riots.
The victims of the rioters will not be reported. No one will know if people are dragged out of their homes and killed.
That is the world we are entering into.
Let me just say: right now is the time to be afraid.
This is happening.