Facebook has labeled the Boogaloo extremist anti-government movement a "dangerous organization" and has banned 500 groups and sites – but was hit after it became known that it had been making money from extremist ads for months.
The platform announced on Tuesday that it has blocked hundreds of accounts, groups and sites related to the Boogaloo movement. This is described as "the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform," as it tries to rebuild their reputation amid the ongoing boycott of ads.
This includes the removal of 220 accounts, 28 pages, 106 groups and 95 Instagram accounts that are part of the extremist network and pose a "credible threat" to public security.
Facebook also removed another 400 groups and more than 100 pages hosting similar content that was connected to the core network but not operated by the core members.
However, Facebook's Buzzfeed News has since turned out to benefit from ads from the far-right group, including a shocking ad that shows how police officers are shot.
This is due to the fact that more than 160 companies launched Facebook ads as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign last week, accusing the company of not fighting hate speech and racism posted on its platform .
People, including those of the Boogaloo movement, during an anti-lockdown protest in Michigan in May. Facebook has described the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement as a "dangerous organization" and has banned 500 groups and sites
A member of Boogaloo Bois walks alongside demonstrators demonstrating in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, during a race justice rally in May
Facebook said removing Boogaloo content and sites on a large scale should help slow the movement in using the platform to recruit and share new members.
"Today, we call a violent US anti-government network a dangerous organization and ban it from our platform," the Facebook statement said in the news.
"This network uses the term Boogaloo, but differs from the broader and loosely connected Boogaloo movement because it actively tries to commit violence."
Facebook added that the accounts "actively promote violence against civilians, law enforcement, and government officials and institutions."
Marking Boogaloo as a "dangerous organization" equates it to the Islamic state group and the white Supremacists, both of whom are already banned from their service.
However, questions arise after it emerged that the social media giant was reportedly collecting money from Boogaloo ads on both Facebook and Facebook Instagram in the months before Facebook was banned.
According to BuzzFeed News, one of the violent notices included shots of police officers who were shot and the phrase "join the militia, fight the state".
Facebook did not immediately return DailyMail.com's request for comment.
The Boogaloo movement, led by people known as Boogaloo Bois, is a loosely organized right-wing extremist and anti-government movement that counts white supremacists in its fan base and aims to spur violent civil war across America.
Some heavily armed Boogaloo Bois have surfaced at rallies against banning and racial justice in recent months.
Mark Zuckerberg. The platform announced on Tuesday that it has blocked hundreds of accounts, groups and sites related to the Boogaloo movement. This is the "final step in our commitment to prohibit people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform."
Facebook said the movement dates back to 2012 and has been following it closely since last year.
In early June, Steven Carrillo, an Air Force sergeant with links to the movement, allegedly shot a federal security guard and wounded his partner in front of a U.S. courthouse, raided and killed a Californian sheriff's deputy and injured four other officers in Oakland, California.
According to the criminal complaint, Carrillo wrote in a Facebook group before the attack: “It is now on our coast, it must be nationwide. It is a great opportunity to target the soup bois specialty. Keep this energy going. & # 39;
"Bois Soup" is a term that supporters of the Boogaloo movement use to refer to federal law enforcement officers.
Facebook, along with other technology companies, hit the mark hard after instant messaging company Discord shut down the largest Boogaloo server and deleted the accounts of all 2,500 of its users.
Some of the accounts and contributions associated with the Boogaloo movement. The Boogaloo movement, led by people known as Boogaloo Bois, is a loosely organized right-wing extremist and anti-government movement that counts white supremacists in its fan base and aims to spur violent civil war across America
According to VICE News, users switched to a connected Facebook page and a subreddit, which led Reddit to remove the subreddit, and Facebook followed on Tuesday.
However, they are all faced with the difficult task of removing all references to the extreme right-wing group, as their internet-savvy members tend to keep their distance from one another and change their symbols and keywords frequently to avoid recognition.
Social media giants are under increasing pressure to curb hate speech on their platforms.
Last week, more than 160 companies, including some of the largest advertisers, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Starbucks, stopped promoting their products on Facebook as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.
The advertising boycott was organized by several civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, and Sleeping Giants, who argue that Facebook and other social media platforms haven't done enough to fight racism, hate speech, and misinformation on their platforms.
Facebook is earning an estimated $ 70 billion annually from ads, the coalition said in a statement on the ADL website. With some of its biggest customers pulling the plug on advertising spending, this is a major blow to the company.
Clorox has joined the growing list of brands to advertise on Facebook in protest against the social media giant's supposed failure to stop hatred from spreading on its platform
Ford then slowed down all national social media advertising for 30 days on Monday as website spending is reevaluated. The restaurant chain Denny & # 39; s announced that it will pause paid advertising on Facebook from Wednesday.
The cleaning giant Clorox announced on Monday on the growing list of brands that it would suspend all ads on the social media website by the end of the year.
"As a people-focused company committed to our values, we feel compelled to act against hate speech that we believe will increase over the year," Clorox said in a statement Monday. "This creates an increasingly unhealthy environment for people and our purpose-built brands."
The Clorox Company, which also owns the Hidden Valley Ranch and Brita brands, added that it would "maintain our planned advertising spending but switch to other media".
This happened after Ford also slowed down all national social media advertising for 30 days. The restaurant chain Denny & # 39; s announced that it will pause paid advertising on Facebook starting Wednesday and announce boycotts similar to Adidas, Pepsi and Best Buy.
Coca-Cola pulled its advertising from Facebook on Friday, saying that it had not officially joined the boycott, but had paused paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days.
A similar announcement was made that day by Unilever, followed by Starbucks, who said he was working with civil rights groups to "stop the spread of hate speech" and would end all social media ads but not officially join the boycott Time.
Zuckerberg said in a Facebook live video on Friday that the company would begin labeling "harmful" content from politicians who remain "current".
Some large companies that have joined the Facebook ad boycott
- Eddie Bauer
- Eileen Fisher
- Ben & Jerry & # 39; s
- North wall
- Rakuten Viber
- Magnolia pictures
- Goodbye Silverstein
- Levi & # 39; s
- Denny & # 39; s
- Best buy
CEO Mark Zuckerberg relented on Friday under pressure and announced new content guidelines for the platform, including stricter restrictions on advertising and labels for "harmful" posts by public figures.
In a Facebook live video, he announced that the company would begin tagging "harmful" content from politicians who would remain "current".
"We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave because it is classified as current so people know when it is," Zuckerberg said on the livestream.
“We will allow people to share this content in order to judge it, just like we do with other problematic content, as this is an important part of our discussion about what is acceptable in our society – but we will add a prompt Telling People This The content they share may violate our guidelines, ”he continued.
Zuckerberg also announced new guidelines to address hateful language in ads, as well as voting information guidelines.
"We are already restricting certain types of content in ads that we allow in regular posts, but we want to do more to ban the type of divisive and inflammatory language that was used to sow discord," said Zuckerberg.
“Today we're banning a broader category of hateful content in ads. In particular, we are expanding our ad policy to prohibit claims that people of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status pose a threat to physical security, health, or the survival of others, & # 39; he said.
"We are also broadening our policy to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads that indicate that these groups are inferior or that they express contempt, dismissal or disgust at them," he continued.
Although he didn't name Trump, the policy responds to a campaign in which Facebook imposes stricter restrictions on "misinformation" in the president's campaign ads and in his inflammatory posts.
Twitter had already posted warning signs on some of the President's tweets that were classified as abusive or threatening, and unlike Facebook, Twitter banned all advertisements for political campaigns.
Zuckerberg took the step when Twitter first called a Trump tweet and said it was not up to social media companies to be the "arbiters of truth."
Hundreds of Facebook employees even held a virtual strike earlier this month after company executives refused to label President Trump's post with a warning that looting would result in gunfire in nationwide racial inequality protests.
Facebook saw a $ 56 billion loss in value on Friday as companies joined a campaign calling on the social media giant to remove hate speech from its platform
Other large companies are participating in the #StopHateforProfit campaign
Facebook is under increasing pressure when it comes to misinformation and inflammatory posts, including posts by President Donald Trump that have been heavily criticized.
A number of civil rights groups launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign last week to encourage companies to post Facebook ads.
California-based North Face was the first to join the campaign. The Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Free Press and Common Sense followed suit.
Starbucks, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Ford, Adidas and HP have also placed advertisements.
The campaign launched a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times asking companies to boycott Facebook. The social media giant has reportedly generated nearly $ 70 billion in advertising revenue last year.
"What would you do with $ 70 billion?" asks the ad #StopHateForProfit.
& # 39; We know what Facebook did. They allowed incitement to violence against protesters who fight for racial justice in America after George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and so many others.
Facebook continues to accuse the ad of "closing eyes on suppression of voters" and "reinforcing white supremacists."
A Facebook statement in response to the boycott also states that the company invests billions each year to ensure security and continues to work with outside experts to review and update its policies.
The company has banished 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram, she said, adding that thanks to the company's significant investment technology in artificial intelligence, Facebook can find almost 90 percent of hate speech before users report it.
"We know we have more to do and we will continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM and other experts to develop more tools, technologies and policies to continue this struggle," added the spokesman.
But the move came too late as the growing number of boycott brands wipes an incredible $ 56 billion off Facebook's market value on Friday.
Large companies like Unilever and Coca-Cola pulled their ads from the social media giant that day, joined Dove, Honda, and Ben & Jerry’s, and sent platform shares to their lowest level in three months.
This hit Zuckerberg a heavy $ 7.2 billion blow, pushing him from third to fourth place in the Bloomberg Billionaires index, leaving a new net worth of $ 82.3 billion.
Other Silicon Valley companies have also taken steps to distance themselves from that
Reddit removed 2,000 subreddits this week, including the long-standing and highly controversial pro-Trump subreddit called "The_Donald", which had around 800,000 followers and has long been on the verge of being canceled.
YouTube also announced its own ban on a number of white supremacist channels as social media companies are increasingly being screened for their response to hate speech posted on their websites.