Facebook has a fringe conspiracy theory issue, and it’s getting worse each day. According to a new investigation from The Guardian, the far-right QAnon movement continues to flourish for the social network, despite its attempts last month to begin removing accounts and pages promoting it.
The investigation, by journalist Jules Carrie Wong, details in depth exactly how QAnon account and page proprietors caught wind of Facebook’s attack in early May and the clever strategies they relied on to avoid recognition. Earlier today, Verizon announced its participation in a growing advertising boycott associated with Facebook and Instagram, in part it seems because its ads continue to appear next to QAnon content.
Verizon just announced that the pulling ads from Facebook carrying out a letter from the ADL showing that will its ads were running alongside QAnon content.
I just therefore happen to have published an investigation in to the QAnon ecosystem on Facebook these days: https://t.co/DgVh9sVJqJ
— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) June 25, 2020
It’s a unique read and thorough accounting showing how conspiracy theories like QAnon may grow from the dark corners from the Internet’s moderated message boards and increase into full-blown, unstoppable movements that will even the most well-funded tech businesses can seemingly do nothing to stop. Within her research, Wong finds up to 100 Facebook pages, profiles and organizations, as well as Instagram accounts, that have over 1,000 followers or energetic members. Some are as big as 150,000 followers or even members, Wong reports.
As well as documenting the distribute on QAnon and how its assisted by off-platform campaigns and arranging designed to help it avoid Facebook recognition, Wong’s investigation also highlights the way the failure to contain movements such as on mainstream social networks can lead to the particular fringe, sometimes dangerous beliefs trickling into the government. Wong details the different Anon-believing representatives running for Our elected representatives and the history of QAnon promotion through high-profile conservative figures, like people of the Trump campaign and White-colored House-adjacent officials. If you’re interested in the current state of tech systems and conspiracy theories, go check out The Guardian’s full investigation here.