Headline, October 02 2020/ ''' FACEBOOK -'' QANON ''- FRONTIER '''


-'' QANON ''- FRONTIER '''

STUDENT MARC-ANDRE ARGENTINO : a Ph D candidate at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, who is studying QAnon, said he had identified 51 Facebook groups -

that branded themselves as anti-child trafficking organizations, but

But which are predominantly sharing QAnon conspiracies. Many of the groups, which were formed at the start of 2020, spiked in growth in the weeks after Facebook and Twitter began enforcing new bans on QAnon.

The groups previously added dozens to hundreds of new members each week. Following the bans, they attracted tens of thousands of new members weekly, according to data published by Mr. Argentino. Facebook said it was studying the groups, but has not taken action on them.

Last month, Facebook said it was cracking down on activity tied to QAnon, a vast conspiracy theory  that falsely claims that a satanic cabal runs the world, and other potentially violent extremist movements.

Since then, a militia movement on Facebook that called for armed conflict on the streets of U.S. cities has gained thousands of new followers. A QAnon Facebook group has also added hundreds of new followers while questioning common-sense pandemic medical practices, like wearing a mask in public and staying at home while sick.

And a campaign that claimed to raise awareness of human trafficking has steered hundreds of thousands of people to conspiracy theory groups and pages on the social network.

Perhaps the most jarring part? At times, Facebook's own recommendation engine - the algorithm that surfaces content for people on the site - has pushed users toward the very groups that were discussing  Qanon conspiracies, according to research conducted by The New York Times, despite assurances from the company that that would not happen.

None of this was supposed to take place under new Facebook rules targeting Qanon and other extremist movements. 

The Silicon Valley company's inability to quash extremist content, despite frequent flags from concerned users, is now renewing questions about the limits of policing and whether it will be locked in the endless fight with QAnon and other groups that see it as a key background in their online war.

The stakes are high ahead of the Nov. 2 election. QAnon groups, which have cast President Trump as the hero in their baseless  conspiracy, have spread and amplified misinformation surround the election.

Among other things, they have shared false rumors that widespread voter fraud is already taking place and have raised questions about the competency of the Postal Service with mail-in-ballots.

''In allowing QAnon groups to get to the point and continue to grow, Facebook has created a huge problem for themselves and for society in a more general sense,'' said Travis View, a host of QAnon Anonymous, a podcast that seeks to explain the movement.

The QAnon movement has proved extremely adept at evading detection on Facebook under the platform's new restrictions.

Some groups have simply changed their names or avoided key terms that would set off alarm bells. The changes were subtle, like changing ''Q'' to ''Cue'' or to a name including the number 17, reflecting Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet.

Militia groups have changed their names to phrases from the Bible, or to claims of being ''God's Army.''

Others simply tweaked what they wrote to make it more palatable to the average person. Facebook communities that had otherwise remained insulated from the conspiracy theory, like yoga groups or parenting circles, were suddenly filled with QAnon content disguised as health and wellness advice or concern about child trafficking.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was continuing to evaluate its best practices. ''Our specialists are working with external experts on ways to disrupt activity designed to evade our enforcement,'' the spokeswoman said.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Groups, Media and Recommendation engines, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors : Sheera Frenkel, Oakland, Calif, Tiffani Hsu, Hoboken, N.J.. Davey Alba, New York and Ben Decker, Boston.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Group-Growth '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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