The social network Facebook has deleted almost 150 accounts and groups on its platforms that the Internet company has assigned to the controversial "lateral thinker" movement.

The company announced on Thursday that it was the first targeted action worldwide that was directed against a group that caused “coordinated social damage”.

The accounts of "Querdenker" founder Michael Ballweg are also affected.

The action is directed against "lateral thinkers" on Facebook and Instagram. The messenger service WhatsApp, which is also part of the Facebook group, is not affected. Facebook security manager Nathaniel Gleicher accused the lateral thinkers of repeatedly violating Facebook's community standards in a coordinated manner. "This includes the publication of health-related misinformation, hate speech and incitement to violence."

Facebook has also identified a list of lateral thinkers' websites that can no longer be linked on Facebook.

"We have removed links to domains of the lateral thinking movement from our platform," it said.

The "harmful network" was operated by people who were associated with violence outside the platform and other "social damage". Authentic users are usually involved in these coordinated campaigns. "These are not fake profiles, but real ones People who organize to systematically violate our guidelines and cause damage on or off our platform, "said Gleicher.

However, people on the network also used duplicate accounts to post and distribute harmful content. "Thinking outside the box" focuses primarily on promoting the conspiracy narrative that the German government's Covid-19 restrictions are part of a larger plan to deprive citizens of their freedoms and fundamental rights. this group in Germany exercised real violence against people who work in journalism, the police or in the health sector, "says the Facebook manager's blog entry.

Supporters of the "lateral thinking" initiative have been taking to the streets against the government's Corona measures for months. The demonstrations in Berlin and other cities also saw attacks on police officers and media representatives. The movement is now being monitored by various state offices for the protection of the constitution. The Federal Office For the Protection of the Constitution, the scene as a "collective observation object" is in its sights, similar to Salafism. 

At the end of May, the video platform Youtube had already deleted the channel "lateral thinking 711". A Google spokesman accused the controversial group of violating the YouTube guidelines for misinformation. Michael Ballweg, spokesman for "lateral thinking 711", denied it then the allegations and announced that they wanted to switch to a decentralized alternative to YouTube. In the social networks, lateral thinking is now mainly on the Telegram platform, which does not delete even extremist content.

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