Probe shows Facebook pushed antisemitic QAnon ads to users’ feeds 2.4m times
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Probe shows Facebook pushed antisemitic QAnon ads to users’ feeds 2.4m times

Social media giant which banned Holocaust denial and distortion this week has been criticised for allowing conspiracy theories and extremism to fester on the platform

A President Trump supporter wears a giant Q at a political rally 
A President Trump supporter wears a giant Q at a political rally 

Facebook pushed adverts linked to the antisemitic QAnon conspiracy theory into users’ feeds as many as 2.4 million times this year, an investigation has shown.

The social media giant, which this week said it was banning Holocaust denial from its sites, has been criticised for facilitating conspiracies which push the narrative that Jews are among a secretive cabal controlling the world and abusing children.

This week’s revelations, as published in the Telegraph, accuse the company of “profiting from [QAnon] and helping it grow even as [its own] employees investigated its potential for ­violence”.

Facebook said it removed a network of fake accounts pushing the QAnon narrative back in April, and finally banned all such pages and Instagram accounts from its services last week.

However, between removing the network and imposing the ban, Facebook’s own online advertising archive shows that it approved at least 204 adverts spreading the precepts or using the hashtags, symbols or slogans of the movement.

This was described as “a key incubator of coronavirus denialism, as well as violent attacks and plots”, with the adverts – including for QAnon-linked merchandise – seen as many as 2.4 million times.

 

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