Facebook is allowing users in right-wing groups to promote QAnon-supporting Rumble videos, despite the platform’s QAnon ban
Media Matters identified over 1,100 posts in right-wing Facebook groups linking to a known QAnon channel’s Rumble videos from November and December 2022
Facebook is allowing users to post QAnon-promoting videos from the conservative video-sharing platform Rumble, even though Meta has policies banning QAnon-related content. Media Matters identified over 1,100 posts in right-wing Facebook groups that linked to Rumble videos from November and December by the QAnon-supporting show X22 Report.
Meta's policies against “movements and organizations tied to violence” include a ban on accounts promoting QAnon — a dangerous conspiracy theory linked to multiple instances of violence that has been flagged as a domestic terrorism threat by the FBI. While Meta has previously claimed to be strengthening its policy enforcement by identifying “new terms associated with QAnon and how people attempt to skirt our detection,” users in right-wing Facebook groups are routinely sharing links to QAnon videos on Rumble.
Rumble, which enables extremists to promote and profit from false, dangerous, and hateful rhetoric, has become the go-to video-sharing platform for QAnon influencers. Media Matters previously identified 12 popular QAnon podcasts that regularly posted on Rumble to at least 1.7 million collective subscribers. Despite this extremism, the platform boasts a growing audience and has received investments from prominent right-wing figures.
X22 Report is a QAnon-promoting show with a history of amplifying extreme anti-vaccine misinformation, overt support for the January 6 insurrection, and baseless anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theories. The show joined Rumble in 2020 after being banned from YouTube during a QAnon crackdown. X22 Report has been directly linked to at least one act of real world violence: in 2020, a man derailed a train nearby a hospital ship docked at a port in Los Angeles that was treating COVID-19 patients. He told investigators that he believed the hospital ship “was part of a government conspiracy to bring healthy ‘open-minded’ people onto the ship and ‘get rid of them,’” and described “reading internet materials related to conspiracy groups, such as ‘X22 Report,’ the ‘Great Awakening,’ and ‘Q.’”
From November 1 through December 30, 2022, the channel posted a total of 111 videos to Rumble — often two times per day — to over 630,000 subscribers, collectively earning over 23 million views. Many of these videos featured advertisements in their accompanying description boxes and during the videos themselves.
The most-viewed video from this period was uploaded to Rumble on November 25, 2022, and features commentary surrounding Elon Musk’s new ownership and management of Twitter. (In December, supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory celebrated a tweet from Musk which featured a phrase that has been regularly invoked in the community, taking it as evidence that he supposedly supports the conspiracy theory in some manner.) Throughout the video, the host of X22 Report interprets numerous interactions between Musk and right-wing figures on Twitter to allege that Musk will use Twitter to help expose everything that the so-called deep state “puppet masters” have done to control society. The video currently has over 560,000 views.
As Rumble provides right-wing and QAnon extremists with a growing platform, mainstream platforms, such as Facebook, are allowing users to promote Rumble videos with extremist content to a larger audience.
Media Matters identified at least 1,153 posts in public and private right-wing Facebook groups that linked to those 111 Rumble videos from X22 Report in November and December. Often, these posts were shared by the same handful of users.