Facebook Inc.’s efforts of recent days to demonstrate greater responsibility in the face of the rapidly expanding #StopHateForProfit boycott continue.
Now, the company has announced that it has removed some 220 accounts related to the Boogaloo anti-government extremist group, 95 Instagram accounts and other groups/accounts that violated its policies against non-state actors designated as Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.
Boogaloo adherents have said their aim is to start a second American civil war.
With the ad boycott of Facebook that now includes more than 400 brands set to start today, last-ditch attempts Tuesday to resolve the conflict failed, according to CNBC.
The civil rights groups behind the boycott have enlisted multinational corporations on board with the boycott to help pressure Facebook to agree to the 10 demands the movement has laid out, but during two meetings with advertisers on Tuesday, Facebook pointed back to press releases instead of offering any new details on how the would tackle hate speech, sources told CNBC.
However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, after trying to get the organizers to meet with other senior Facebook executives without him, to no avail, did agree to meet with the movement's representatives.
In summarizing its announcement about deleting more accounts, Facebook wrote: “Today we are designating a violent US-based anti-government network as a dangerous organization and banning it from our platform. This network uses the term boogaloo but is distinct from the broader and loosely affiliated boogaloo movement because it actively seeks to commit violence. For months, we have removed boogaloo content when there is a clear connection to violence or a credible threat to public safety, and today’s designation will mean we remove more content going forward, including Facebook Groups and Pages. This is the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform.”
The post added in part: “In order to make Facebook as inhospitable to this violent US-based anti-government network as possible, we conducted a strategic network disruption of their presence today removing 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 Pages and 106 groups that currently comprise the network. We have also removed over 400 additional groups and over 100 other Pages for violating our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy as they hosted similar content as the violent network we disrupted but were maintained by accounts outside of it. As part of our designation process, we will now identify where we can strengthen how we enforce our policy against this banned network and spot attempts by the violent US anti-government network to return to our platform.
“Today’s designation is not the first time we’ve taken action against violence within the boogaloo movement. We have always removed boogaloo content when we identify a clear call for violence. As a result, we removed over 800 posts for violating our Violence and Incitement policy over the last two months and limited the distribution of Pages and groups referencing the movement by removing them from the recommendations we show people on Facebook.”
Last month, Facebook took down some accounts tied to Boogaloo adherents after one, Steven Carrillo, was arrested for allegedly killing one Santa Cruz County deputy and injuring another during a Black Lives Matter protest.
On June 11, NBC News noted that “Boogaloo groups are public and readily accessible on Facebook, but a company spokesperson told NBC News last week that the social network is now ‘preventing these Pages and groups from being recommended on Facebook.’ Facebook accounts tied to three men who were arrested and charged with multiple state and federal violations of conspiracy to cause destruction at protests in Las Vegas were pulled from the platform last week. At least one of the men, Stephen T. Parshall, repeatedly posted to Boogaloo groups on Facebook, including the phrase ‘Start. Fomenting. Insurrection.’”