Facebook gave conspiracy theorists plenty of time to change hashtags and keywords to avoid having posts deleted. How serious is Jeff Zuckerberg about actually cleaning house?
October 7, 2020

ABC News (above) played right along with Facebook's announcement, calling their ban on QAnon content one of the "most drastic policy changes Facebook has made in its history."

But the network also admits

QAnon groups have regularly changed strategy in spreading messages, including avoiding use of the letter "Q," which could make Facebook's job hard.

"QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another," Facebook said in it statement. "We aim to combat this more effectively with this update that strengthens and expands our enforcement against the conspiracy theory movement."

Media Matters president Angelo Carusone disagrees:

Facebook helped the QAnon community grow exponentially — and refused to take appropriate action earlier this year when it would have mattered. Then, in a publicity stunt a few weeks ago, Facebook announced a crackdown would come, one that gave the QAnon community ample time to change their names, page descriptions and hashtags in order to flout Facebook’s enforcement.

In effect, Facebook has made the problem worse: first by helping the QAnon community grow exponentially, then by helping them hide.

So the big question here is not what is Facebook doing about QAnon: It is what is Facebook doing about all the QAnon content and QAnon communities that have made minor changes to hashtags and keywords to work around Facebook’s rules in order to promote essentially the same dangerous misinformation.

Unless Facebook lays out a more robust and proactive plan, all it is doing with this action is giving QAnon content a chance to rebrand on its platform.

Following that horrible conspiracy theory proves you are some combination of evil, stupid, and crazy. It's time to stifle the disinformation.

Don't forget that "Q" has been revealed to be a Citibank employee from New Jersey, NOT a deep state uber-spy sent to release secret intel on behalf of Donald Trump's war on pedophiles in the Democrat (tm) Party. Ahem.

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