Facebook has banned nearly 1,000 ‘militarized social movements’, documents reveal

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Facebook has placed at least 986 groups on a private list of banned “militarized social movements,” according to internal Facebook documents. published by Interception. The documents hint at the scale of the militia’s organization on Facebook, something the company took forcefully. in August 2020.

Militarized social movements are part of Facebook’s broader list of “dangerous people and organizations”, which Interception posted a snapshot of In its whole. The term refers to armed groups that promote armed conflict, as well as groups that support violence or looting in protests; in practice, it appears to be largely made up of right-wing militias with some left-wing, anarchist or generally anti-government organizations.

Facebook’s list of “dangerous individuals” also includes white supremacist gangs, hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, and branches of Al Qaeda and other global terrorist organizations. Everyone is prohibited from maintaining pages, groups or profiles on the service. Beyond that, the categories are classified into levels. Level 1 includes hate and terror groups, and Facebook users cannot express praise or support for them in any way. Level 2 includes “violent non-state actors” such as armed rebels who can only be commended for non-violent activities. Militarized social movements are designated as Level 3, which has no comparable restrictions on how users discuss them.

Facebook noted in October 2020 that it had identified 600 militarized social movements and removed around 2,400 pages and 14,200 groups maintained by them. The company also said it had removed 1,700 pages and 5,600 groups associated with QAnon, which is designated as a militarized social movement but is not an organized group.

What Interception Notes, group designations can be confusing. A subset of the violent boogaloo movement, for example, is classified as a Tier 1 terrorist organization, while the largest movement is a militarized social movement. The designation also includes mass media such as the anarchist site. Is coming down – which could theoretically have been grouped under the umbrella of “support for violent acts in the midst of protests”, but is classified as a “group of armed militias”.

Facebook has been criticized for its overly lax and overly punitive enforcement. But more recently, it has come under general scrutiny for failing to disclose details about its operations to outside investigators or lawmakers, making it difficult to assess its moderation strategy.

In statements to The edgeFacebook said it had not previously published the list because posting too much detail could compromise the effectiveness of moderation.

“This is a space of confrontation, so we try to be as transparent as possible while prioritizing safety, limiting legal risks and avoiding opportunities for groups to circumvent our rules,” said Brian Fishman, policy director at counterterrorism and dangerous organizations.


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