Taibbi: After The QAnon Ban, Who's Next?

Authored by Matt Taibbi via taibbi.substack.com,

Facebook announced Tuesday that it’s stepping up efforts to clean its platform of QAnon content:

Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content…

Facebook had already taken several rounds of action against QAnon, including the removal this summer of “over 1,500 Pages and Groups.” Restricting bans to groups featuring “discussions of potential violence” apparently didn’t do the trick, however, so the platform expended bans to include content “tied to real world harm”:

Other QAnon content [is] tied to different forms of real world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by certain groups, which diverted attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.

Describing what QAnon is, in a way that satisfies what its followers would might say represents their belief system and separates out the censorship issue, is not easy.

The theory is constantly evolving and not terribly rational. It’s also almost always described by mainstream outlets in terms that implicitly make the case for its banning, referencing concepts like “offline harm” or the above-mentioned “real-world harm” in descriptions. As you’re learning what QAnon is, you’re usually also learning that it is not tolerable or safe.

QAnon was once a fringe phenomenon, the kind most people could safely ignore,” the New York Times wrote recently. “But in recent months, it’s gone mainstream.”

In rough terms, QAnon is a gospel spun by “Q,” ostensibly a current or former government official, who keeps the public appraised of an epic secret battle between good and evil, undertaken in political shadows. The villains are a globalist pedophile ring involving the mega-rich, Hollywood actors, and the Clintons (among many others), while Donald Trump leads the army of the righteous.

Facebook announced Tuesday that it’s stepping up efforts to clean its platform of QAnon content:

Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content…

Facebook had already taken several rounds of action against QAnon, including the removal this summer of “over 1,500 Pages and Groups.” Restricting bans to groups featuring “discussions of potential violence” apparently didn’t do the trick, however, so the platform expended bans to include content “tied to real world harm”:

Other QAnon content [is] tied to different forms of real world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by certain groups, which diverted attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.

Describing what QAnon is, in a way that satisfies what its followers would might say represents their belief system and separates out the censorship issue, is not easy. The theory is constantly evolving and not terribly rational. It’s also almost always described by mainstream outlets in terms that implicitly make the case for its banning, referencing concepts like “offline harm” or the above-mentioned “real-world harm” in descriptions. As you’re learning what QAnon is, you’re usually also learning that it is not tolerable or safe.

QAnon was once a fringe phenomenon, the kind most people could safely ignore,” the New York Times wrote recently. “But in recent months, it’s gone mainstream.”

In rough terms, QAnon is a gospel spun by “Q,” ostensibly a current or former government official, who keeps the public appraised of an epic secret battle between good and evil, undertaken in political shadows. The villains are a globalist pedophile ring involving the mega-rich, Hollywood actors, and the Clintons (among many others), while Donald Trump leads the army of the righteous.

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