The Associated Press confirmed that Facebook has withdrawn nearly 200 accounts linked to white nationalist organizations that tried to mobilize followers to attend demonstrations over police brutality against black people. The accounts at issue were related to two hate groups already banned by Facebook, the Proud Boys and the American Guard.
Demonstrations spread throughout the US over the weekend, sparked by George Floyd ‘s death in Minneapolis on May 25. Authorities have charged a second-degree murder of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of Floyd after a video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd ‘s neck as other officers looked at him. The other officers, who were fired too, was indicted for aiding and abetting murder.
Facebook monitored the accounts and began to see posts encouraging people to come in person to the protests. Some were planning to go with weapons, an official at the company told the AP. The company did not provide details about where the users of the account were located, or what they may have specifically planned to do at the protest.
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Last week Facebook said it would limit the spread of groups and pages on its platform linked to the term “boogaloo,” which is used by some far-right groups to refer to an allegedly coming second American Civil War. It will demote the search results pages and classes, and will not recommend them to users.