MyMilitia users have posted threats against protesters and lawmakers, and experts say it’s a dangerous recruitment tool. Pressure is mounting on tech companies to ban MyMilitia, a website used by far-right extremists and armed groups to organize, after it was linked to threats of violence against US protesters and lawmakers this week. On Tuesday, police arrested Brian Maiorana after he allegedly posted online threats targeting Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader in the US Senate, and threatened to “blow up” the FBI. Maiorana is also alleged to have used MyMilitia, as well as an unnamed mainstream social media platform, to make threats to kill protesters and discussed building his own weapons, according to the complaint. Maiorana, a registered sex offender, is barred from legally purchasing firearms. The arrest has put more pressure on internet companies that control the infrastructure supporting MyMilitia, including GoDaddy and Cloudflare to ban the platform from their services. “This is a very dangerous game they are playing, giving people the ability to recruit extremist militias during a perilous political time in our country,” said Matt Rivitz, the co-founder of the online activism and anti-bigotry group Sleeping Giants. “It is shocking to see these companies not only supporting but actively monetizing themselves off of it.” (…) The site further rose to prominence after a man named Michael Hari and other members of his Illinois-based militia allegedly bombed a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, and appealed on MyMilitia for others around the country to rally to their defense. As of early October, the site had at least 20,000 users organizing more than 530 militia groups in the US, according to a report from Vice. It’s also becoming more popular. The site totaled 69,461 visits in October 2020, up 322.6% from October 2019 at 16,437, according to web traffic analytics firm SimilarWeb.

via guardian: Tech companies under pressure to ban far-right forum used for militia organizing

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