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

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Mostly Armed Militia

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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 Intercept. Documents hint at the scale of organizing militias on Facebook – something the company broke in august of 2020.


Militarized social movements are part of Facebook’s larger “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” list, which Intercept published a snapshot of Completely. The term refers to armed groups that promote armed conflict, as well as groups that support violence or looting in protest; In practice, it is clearly composed of right-wing militias with some left-wing, anarchist, or generally anti-government organizations.

Facebook’s “dangerous persons” list also includes white supremacist bands, 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. In addition, the categories are sorted into levels. Tier 1 includes hate and terror groups, and Facebook users may not express admiration or support for them in any form. Tier 2 includes “violent non-state actors” such as armed insurgents who can only be praised for nonviolent activities. Militarized social movements are designated as Tier 3, which do not have comparable restrictions on the way users discuss them.

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Facebook noted in October of 2020 that it had identified 600 militarized social movements and removed about 2,400 pages and 14,200 groups they had created. The company also said it had removed 1,700 pages and 5,600 groups linked to QAnon – which is designated a militarized social movement, but is not an organized group.

As Intercept Note, group designations can be ambiguous. For example, a subgroup of the Violent Boogaloo movement is classified as a Tier 1 terrorist organization, while the larger movement is a militarized social movement. The designation also includes news outlets such as anarchist site. It’s going down – which could theoretically be grouped under the umbrella of “supporting violent acts between protests”, but is listed as an “armed militia group”.

Facebook has been criticized for both overly lax and overly punitive enforcement. But recently, it has come under general scrutiny for not releasing details about its operation to outside researchers or policymakers, something that makes evaluating its moderation strategy more difficult.

in statements ledgeFacebook said it had not previously released the list because publishing too many details could compromise the effectiveness of moderation.

Brian Fishman, policy director for counter-terrorism and dangerous organizations, said: “This is a hostile space, so we try to be as transparent as possible, while prioritizing security, limiting legal risks and preventing opportunities for groups.” “

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