In this photo photo taken on July 10, 2019, the Facebook logo is visible on a phone in this photo illustration in Washington, DC. - AFP
Facebook continues to redeem itself for an image. Under pressure to better purge its platform of racist content and movements, the Cupertino company said on Tuesday that it had banished far-right American groups from the "Boogaloo" movement, who "are actively seeking to commit violence", according to a press release.
Followers of this eclectic movement, heavily armed, have disrupted the recent anti-racist demonstrations in the United States. They worry the American authorities in particular since one of them killed two police officers in California at the beginning of June.
In the “dangerous individuals and organizations” category
The social media giant has classified this movement in the “dangerous individuals and organizations” category. "As a result, this violent network is banned from any presence on our platform and we will remove all the content that supports it, promotes it or represents it," detailed the platform. "It actively promotes violence against civilians, law enforcement, government and institutions," she added.
Today we designated a violent US-based anti-government network as a dangerous organization and banned it from our platform. This is the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our apps. https://t.co/SNEGxdLmZO- Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) June 30, 2020
Facebook has thus removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages and 106 groups "which currently constitute the network", as well as 400 other groups and more than 100 pages which hosted similar content.
A movement neither very organized nor very united
Several demonstrations against systemic racism, organized in reaction to the death of George Floyd, were marked by arrests of activists of this group, in possession of Molotov cocktails. The term Boogaloo, which designates an Afro-Cuban musical current, has been used for several years on social networks in reference to a new civil war.
The movement, which is neither very organized nor very united, includes anti-government and pro-gun activists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
They communicate through social networks. In a study published in April, the Tech Transparency Project counted 125 groups dedicated to the Boogaloo ideology on Facebook, with tens of thousands of subscribers discussing weapons, explosives and tactics to attack the authorities.
Facebook will be vigilant
A member of the movement was arrested on April 11 in Texas after posting a video on social media in which he announced that he was going to ambush and kill a police officer.
Facebook says it spotted the first elements of this movement in 2012, but only followed it closely since 2019. "We expect people from this network to try to return to our platform by adopting a new terminology", said the Californian group, promising to monitor these potential attempts.
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- United States