Facebook Failed To Erase ‘Boogaloo’ Extremists, Report Allegations
Facebook announced in June that it had shut down accounts and pages it said were linked to the anti-government far-right Boogaloo movement and would ban people and organizations associated with the group in the future, but a new report by Tech Transparency Project found that Facebook still failed to detect Boogaloo’s activity, allowing the group to use the platform to grow.
On June 30, facebook said he had deleted 220 Boogaloo accounts, 106 groups, dozens of pages and 95 additional accounts on Instagram (which Facebook owns).
Facebook called the group violent and named Boogaloo a dangerous organizationwhich means that it shares the same classification as terrorist activity, organized hate and large-scale criminal organizations on the social network.
Therefore, Facebook said it to forbid individuals and organizations connected to Boogaloo in the future, and remove content that praises, supports and represents the movement.
According to a report released Wednesday by Tech Transparency Project, part of the nonprofit’s Campaign for Accountability, 110 Facebook boogaloo groups have been created since June 30, with at least 18 of the groups formed on the same day as Facebook’s announcement .
Newly formed groups, some of which have over 1,000 members, have “easily escaped Facebook’s crackdown renaming themselves, often co-opting the names of children’s films, news agencies and even Mark Zuckerberg.”
Facebook has would have sought to justify its selective approach to weeding out Boogaloo groups by arguing that parts of the movement are not violent.
The Boogaloo Movement is a far-right, anti-government movement that started on the extremist site 4chan and aims to spark a second American Civil War. In July, the Department of Homeland Security published a report obtained by The nation, which begins by stating, “The Intelligence Community reports that Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) who support ‘Boogaloo’ may exploit current political and social environments to carry out attacks in the United States. In mid-June, an intelligence assessment from the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium warned that Washington DC is “probably a target for violent followers of boogaloo ideology”. Facebook said the group favors “violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions.” Yet the Tech Transparency Project called Facebook’s approach to removing Boogaloo content “slow and sometimes fragmentary,“, which gave the administrators of the Boogaloo group ample time to adjust their online strategies. Some groups have reportedly started changing their names to replace the word “boogaloo” and derivatives known as “big igloo”, “boojahideen” and big luau. TTP states that instruction manuals on making bombs and other violent activities, such as kidnappings and murders, continue to circulate and, despite Facebook’s willingness to stop recommending Boogaloo groups to users, the algorithms of the company continue to suggest groups and pages related to boogaloo.
Large number :
150: Technology Transparency Project found that 39 of the 125 Boogaloo groups active in April are still active on Facebook. And TTP identified a total of nearly 150 boogaloo groups that were active as of July 24, about 20% more than was identified in April.
In June, the FBI announced that Steven Carrillo, the US Air Force sergeant who allegedly murdered California law enforcement officers during social justice protests, was associated with the Boogaloo movement. Authorities said that before he was apprehended, Carrillo scrawled the word “boog” (short for Boogaloo) in blood on the hood of a car. According to federal complaintt, Carrillo and an accomplice exchanged messages in a Facebook group, discussing their plan to attack authorities.
“Elements of The Boogaloo have grown from a gathering of militia enthusiasts and Second Amendment advocates to a full-fledged violent extremist group, inspiring lone wolf actors and cell-type actors alike,” noted Joel Finkelstein, director of the Network Contagion Research Institute. “Given recent events and the inability of law enforcement to grasp and intercept this new mode of distributed terror, we believe that an increase in this type of violent attack on police is almost inevitable.”