Friday, September 25, 2020

Facebook expands policy against ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organisations’

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Washington: Facebook said in a press release on Wednesday that it has taken steps to expand its ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organisations’ policy and restrict the reach of conspiracy theorists like QAnon and others who have demonstrated a significant risk to public safety.

“Today, we are expanding our ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organisations’ policy to address organisations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety, but do not meet the rigorous criteria to be designated as a dangerous organization and banned from having any presence on our platform,” the release said.

The effort targets US-based organizations such as QAnon, a shadowy group best known for portraying President Donald Trump as battling pedophiles in the Democratic Party. The group has lately expanded its presence on Facebook with posts on the novel coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The new policy will remove pages that wade into discussions of violence without specifically endorsing violent acts. For groups that fail to meet the threshold for removal, Facebook said it will limit recommendations, block pages from showing up in searches, reduce rankings in news feeds and remove hashtags that allow people to find similar hashtags.

In addition, Facebook will prohibit these groups from running ads soliciting donations, the release said.

“As a result of some of the actions we’ve already taken, we’ve removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon from Facebook, blocked over 300 hashtags across Facebook and Instagram, and additionally imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 accounts on Instagram,” the release added.

Pages, groups and accounts that have been restricted will be closely monitored and subject to removal for violations of the updated policy, according to the release.

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