When it comes to QAnon conspiracy theorists, Facebook is wagging a finger with one hand, and slipping some enablers cash with the other.
According to ProPublica’s database of congressional contributions, in September, Facebook donated money to 45 members of Congress and PACs from both sides of the aisle. Shortly thereafter, three of the U.S. representatives on Facebook’s list went on to vote “no” on a congressional resolution to condemn QAnon and its conspiracy theories.
We’re not saying that there’s a causal link here. And Facebook clearly makes political contributions widely to people both willing and not so willing to condemn QAnon. But the contrast between Facebook’s public stance against the spreading of conspiracy theories, and the private money it hands out is a stark one.
Rep. Tom Malinowski introduced the bill on October 2 after Malinowski himself received death threats from QAnon followers. The resolution had bipartisan support, and passed 371–18. To be clear, the members of Congress who voted against the resolution declined to condemn a group that thinks a cabal of “deep state” politicians and Hollywood people run a global child sex ring.
Days after the resolution passed, Facebook issued a ban against QAnon conspiracy theory groups and accounts. The ban was an escalation of policies that banned QAnon accounts and groups that promoted violence. QAnon has led to real-world violence, and promotes anti-semitism and anti-vaccination.
That action is what makes Facebook’s campaign contributions… interesting. Facebook donated $3,000 to Rep. Drew Ferguson, $2,000 to Rep. Michael Burgess, and $500 to Rep. Jeff Duncan, who all voted against the resolution. Thanks for helping these stellar government employees, Facebook!