Since its conception 16 years ago, Facebook has amassed a staggering 1.5 billion daily users with over 500,000 new accounts made every day. That comes to roughly 6 new accounts a second. With almost unrestricted access into our habits and daily lives, the company has been on damage control since it was accused of meddling in the 2016 election. With its haunted past still fresh in the minds of voters, the social media behemoth has ramped up its ongoing efforts to support free speech while suppressing fake news.

Taking an aggressive approach, Facebook recently banned 520 Antifa-related pages and removed over 160 ads supporting the group. The company also deleted 980 groups from its platform for violating its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. The policy restricts any group from promoting violent protests or rioting.

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The site also restricted over a thousand hashtags that have been used to promote activities held by the leftist militant group. In a statement given by Facebook, the company said,“[W]e 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.”

Realizing the dangers these groups can have in the community, the tech giant is taking extra steps to promote safety by banning radical organizations from promoting ads or receiving any compensation from non-profits.

As for users who support these movements, the company said it will allow them to express themselves freely as long as it doesn’t violate the rules and policies they agree to when creating an account. While users will be able to post in favor of a movement, they are still restricted from organizing while on the site.

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Continuing with its efforts, Facebook also removed close to 800 QAnon groups while placing stern restrictions on another 2000 pages related to the movement. QAnon has been accused of being the mastermind behind the spread of misinformation surrounding Black Lives Matter, Covid-19, and the upcoming 2020 election.

The company also expanded its new policies to Instagram as well, removing a staggering 10,000 accounts related to a movement that supported the spread of false facts or unpeaceful protests. Facebook hopes their current efforts to support a safe environment will help restore the image tarnished by the Cambridge Analytica scandal back in 2018.

This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on August 21, 2020. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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