Anti-Government Group Boogaloo Banned From Facebook

Cheryl Sanders
July 2, 2020

Facebook will ban all content associated with this network.

Facebook Inc. banned the violent faction of the so-called "boogaloo" movement - an anti-government group who believe in a coming civil war - amid mounting pressure from the private sector and lawmakers to take a more aggressive stance on hate speech as protests over racial inequality have swept the country.

Hundreds of Facebook profiles said to be part of a "violent anti-government network" linked to the loose-knit "boogaloo" movement have been permanently deleted, the latest in a wave of mass bans targeting the political right.

The group is distinct from the broader "Boogaloo" movement in that it actively seeks to commit violence, Facebook said in a blog post.

Now, the company has announced that it has removed some 220 accounts related to the Boogaloo anti-government extremist group, 95 Instagram accounts and other groups/accounts that violated its policies against non-state actors designated as Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.

Intelligence reports obtained by Politico revealed that the Boogaloo movement could stir unrest in Washington, D.C. Boogaloo groups have a mix of members with varying levels of commitment to real-world violence and race-based hate, but organizations studying extremism have identified overlap between boogaloo supporters and white supremacist groups. Facebook said that the movement dates to 2012 and that it has been tracking it closely since a year ago.

"This network appears to be based across various locations in the U.S., and the people within it engage with one another on our platform", the company said.

"Today's designation is not the first time we've taken action against violence within the boogaloo movement". Among the members of the movement charged in recent weeks is Air Force sergeant Steven Carillo, who has been accused of killing a California sheriff's deputy in May.

They came after the May 30 arrest in Las Vegas of three self-styled "Boogaloo bois" who had assembled weapons and Molotov cocktails with the aim of sparking violence during a Black Lives Matter protest.

Facebook also vowed to give priority to original news reporting as part of an effort to divert attention from spam, clickbait and specious articles.

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"We expect to see adversarial behavior from this network including people trying to return to using our platform and adopting new terminology", Facebook said.

With the ad boycott of Facebook that now includes more than 400 brands set to start today, last-ditch attempts Tuesday to resolve the conflict failed, according to CNBC.

Speaking with NBC, computer science professor Megan Squire of Elon University, North Carolina, said these now-banned Facebook groups will likely splinter into other platforms such as Telegram and Parler.

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