Local Conservative-Social Justice Groups Warning Flagged by Facebook?
If you watch the news at all you've heard of Twitter blocking or suspending accounts of conservative political groups, leaders, even the New York Post.
Also in the headlines, Facebook's claims it will start to 'slow down' or restrict the spread of what it deems to be overtly political or controversial content for two weeks prior to the Presidential election. We hadn't really seen any specific blatant examples locally of this...yet.
However, after doing some follow up searching Wednesday for a news story we published, we didn't realize that Unbound Tri Cities, Re-Open Tri Cities, Justice for George (Floyd) Culp for Governor and other conservative and social justice (progressive?) pages had this in common:
Apparently they're all associated with that mystery group Q-Anon?. Hmmm. Long story short. Q-Anon is an online organization/social media page apparently started by three persons back in 2017. Posts on social media began to appear under the name of "Q" and contained a series of cryptic, politically tinged messages and themes, as well as predictions. Follow it or not, the phenomenon has spread like wildfire. Now, liberal and progressive groups are starting to pin a lot of conservatives to the movement, usually without any justification.
Wednesday, while searching for follow up information about the Trump rally assault getaway driver, we looked up Unbound Tri-Cities, the police defunding group. What we saw was a surprise. A message popped saying "THIS SEARCH MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH DANGEROUS CONTENT." It went on to say "this content may be associated with a dangerous conspiracy movement called Q-Anon."
Out of curiosity, we searched the pages listed earlier in this story, from Justice for George (Floyd) to Culp for Governor and others. They also came up with the same message.
The "warning" says to click on GNET to learn more. Apparently Facebook is using a global group called the Global Network on Extremism and Technology.
In the case of "Q-Anon," it dives into a description of what this international group believes it to be.
It appears this group is using algorithms to tag anything their system thinks is controversial or conspiracy theorist; and they must be using "Q-Anon" as their baseline? This is interesting, as numerous reports on Fox News, Breitbart and other major media outlets have reported how MSNBC and CNN are suddenly trying to tie conservative groups and leaders to "Q."
It's probably a programmed algorithm because the warning showed up on groups on both sides of the societal and political spectrum.
We also noticed once you search for the same group multiple times, the warning does not continue to appear. Try it for yourself as see what happens.
By the way, when we searched Newstalk870 KFLD, we didn't see the warning.
To learn more about this GNET Facebook reference, click on the button below.