Facebook attempts to stop the spread of controversial 'boogaloo' groups

It will no longer show them as recommendations.

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Mariella Moon
June 5th, 2020
In this article: Facebook, news, gear
Menlo Park, CA, USA – March 18, 2014: A sign at the entrance to the Facebook World Headquarters located in Menlo Park. Facebook is a popular online social networking service.
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Facebook will make it harder for users to find groups associated with the term “boogaloo,” according to Reuters. The social network will no longer recommend those groups to users who are already members of similar ones, a spokesperson told the news organization. Facebook’s decision may have been influenced by a recent incident wherein three men were charged with plotting violence at anti-racism protests in Las Vegas. Two of those men participated in boogaloo—themed groups on the platform.

The boogaloo movement is known for advocating for violent uprising against the government and law enforcement. While there are members who are also white nationalists, others just share the group’s anti—government and pro-gun views. According to a previous BuzzFeed News report, the term started becoming popular by the end of 2019 when pro-gun advocates pushed back against proposed gun control laws in response to mass shootings.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have since served as home to a large number of boogaloo groups. Facebook banned the use of the term when accompanied by pictures of weapons and calls to action back in May, but now it’s taking things a step further. The social network also told Reuters it’s aware that members are trying to evade detection by using alternative terms, such as “Big Igloo” or “Big Luau.”

A few months ago, the Network Contagion Research Institute released a report about hate speech across social media, which touched on the rise of the boogaloo movement on Facebook. At the time, a spokesperson told NBC News:

"We've been studying trends around this and related terms on Facebook and Instagram. We don't allow speech used to incite hate or violence, and will remove any content that violates our policies. We'll continue to monitor this across our platform."

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