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Facebook bans 'boogaloo' accounts and pages linked to violence

The group's calls for civil war and attacks crossed the line.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 30, 2020
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BRAZIL - 2020/06/29: In this photo illustration the Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook isn’t just limiting the spread of “boogaloo” groups on its platform — it’s tossing many of those groups out. The social media giant has banned accounts and pages from the pro-civil-war group after deeming a violent network that breaks the company’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. Facebook primarily removed 220 accounts, 106 groups, 28 pages and 95 Instagram accounts as part of a “strategic network disruption.” Another 400 groups and 100 Pages were pulled for hosting related material that was maintained by accounts outside of the network.

The company said it had always deleted boogaloo content that explicitly advocated violence, including 800 posts over the past two months. It also limited the reach of groups and pages by taking them out of recommendations. However, it has since decided that much of the movement is inherently violent. It’s “actively promoting” violence against civilians, government officials and police, Facebook said, and there have been multiple real-world attacks in recent months.

There’s “still more to do” after this, Facebook said, although it didn’t elaborate on what that meant.

The bans may spark more of an uproar than usual. They effectively place many boogaloo supporters in the same category as hate groups. While there are clearly violent boogaloo members, it’s also known to have a relatively varied base that includes some non-violent critics of the government. Facebook stressed that it was cracking down only on those members that “pose the greatest risk of real harm,” but that may not be reassuring to those who feel they’ve been stigmatized by the crackdown.

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