In an unexpected move, Facebook has removed nearly 1,000 groups affiliated with far-left anarchist group Antifa and those promoting riotous acts as the platform’s newest policy change aims to strike at militia groups.
The social media giant removed 980 groups, suppressed 1,400 hashtags related to leftist agitators, and scrubbed 520 pages and 160 ads, according to The Washington Times.
The changes mean that the organization’s ability to attract new followers on the site and drive their content would be hampered as their rankings within direct search results have fallen.
Non-profits and other organizations seeking to monetize on behalf of the radical leftist organization will not be able to run advertisements on affiliated groups or pages.
The move to block the Antifa-related content came as the platform rolled out a wave of censorship against QAnon followers as part of their “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy.
Related to QAnon, Facebook said it removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads from Facebook, and blocked over 300 QAnon-related hashtags across Facebook and Instagram. In addition, it imposed restrictions on over 1,950 Groups and 440 Pages on Facebook and over 10,000 Instagram accounts.
Facebook has recently driven a strong push to fact check against so-called fake news during a war for information. However, Facebook’s heavy handed approach to filtering out so-called fake news has seen satirical pieces and memes depicting current political affairs fall prey to fact-checking.
Articles and websites promoting what Facebook’s fact checkers would deem incorrect could face reprimand on the site, with their reach and ability to post severely curtailed.
However, the recent revelation follows waves of censorship across various social media platforms for accounts championing conservative views or alternative opinions on current affairs.
“We are expanding our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy to address organizations 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,” Facebook’s statement states.
It adds: “While we will allow people to post content that supports these movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate our policies, we will restrict their ability to organize on our platform.”
Facebook higher-ups also recently discussed the possibility of a “kill switch” designed to pull political adverts from the site if Trump were to refuse to accept an election day defeat.