A new report finds “Facebook is routinely behind the curve in cracking down on domestic extremists on its platform.” Despite efforts by Facebook to ban right-wing militant organizations, a new report published Monday has found that some of those groups continue to organize and run pages on the social network. Facebook also continues to profit from ads placed by extremists, in spite of an announcement earlier this year that said it would ban all ads that “praise, support or represent militarized social movements.” The report from the Transparency Tech Project (TTP), a nonprofit watchdog organization, discovered, for example, that the American Patriot Council, a right-wing group that advocated for the criminal prosecution of Michigan’s governor because of her implementation of stay-at-home orders during the early days of the pandemic, ran an ad earlier this month that encouraged militants to attend Oct. 24 rallies in Michigan and New York. “We The People gather across America in a show of solidarity and demand emancipation from the bondage of tyranny,” read the ad, which cost less than $100 and had the potential to reach between 500,000 and 1 million people according to Facebook’s own metrics. “(Lawful carry & Militia strongly encouraged).”
Facebook’s announced in August that it was banning right-wing militant, anarchist, and QAnon groups from its platform. But TTP found 45 pages and eight groups associated with right-wing extremist organizations two months later. Researchers at TTP also found that Facebook had accepted a handful of ads over the last two years that were used by extremists to bolster their ranks and summon people to armed rallies. “Facebook has been directly profiting from this kind of paid messaging on its platform,” the report said. “The disturbing findings show that Facebook is routinely behind the curve in cracking down on domestic extremists on its platform.” According to TTP, 13 of the pages and groups it found have “militia” in their name, while six pages and one group were created after the company’s August ban of “militarized social movements.”
siehe auch: Facebook Ran Recruitment Ads for Militia Groups. For years, Facebook profited from militia group ads looking to to attract new recruits. The messages reached tens of thousands of users. Facebook has allowed dangerous militia groups to run recruiting ads that reached tens of thousands of users and is still enabling such groups to organize on the platform, according to a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) investigation that highlights deep flaws in the company’s handling of domestic extremists. The investigation—which follows news of a thwarted plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which involved militia members and played out on Facebook and other social media—shows how Facebook has repeatedly failed to block these violence-prone groups from using its various tools and features to build their movement. TTP found that numerous militia groups, over the past several years and as recently as August, have used Facebook ads to recruit new members, with messages calling militia men the “last hope of freedom” and imploring, “Fight with us to take back America.” That means Facebook has been directly profiting from this kind of paid messaging on its platform. At the same time, the investigation identified more than 50 Facebook pages and groups dedicated to militia organizations, including some associated with the so-called Three Percenters, an anti-government extremist movement. The activity is continuing despite Facebook’s announced action against “militarized social movements” two months ago. The disturbing findings show that Facebook is routinely behind the curve in cracking down on domestic extremists on its platform—a pattern that played out in the Whitmer case and threatens additional harm heading into the Nov. 3 election, amid President Donald Trump’s baseless accusations about voter fraud and a “rigged” result.