Facebook Ignores Its Own Ban On Dangerous Paramilitary Organizing

This article is raising the alarm about a disturbing failure of Facebook to enforce its own ban of paramilitary organizing — in an election year, no less. Via Wired:

“JOIN YOUR LOCAL Militia or III% Patriot Group,” a post urged the more than 650 members of a Facebook group called the Free American Army. Accompanied by the logo for the Three Percenters militia network and an image of a man in tactical gear holding a long rifle, the post continues: “Now more than ever. Support the American militia page.”

Other content and messaging in the group is similar. And despite the fact that Facebook bans paramilitary organizing and deemed the Three Percenters an “armed militia group” on its 2021 Dangerous Individuals and Organizations List, the post and group remained up until WIRED contacted Meta for comment about its existence.

Free American Army is just one of around 200 similar Facebook groups and profiles, most of which are still live, that anti-government and far-right extremists are using to coordinate local militia activity around the country.

After lying low for several years in the aftermath of the US Capitol riot on January 6, militia extremists have been quietly reorganizing, ramping up recruitment and rhetoric on Facebook—with apparently little concern that Meta will enforce its ban against them, according to new research by the Tech Transparency Project, shared exclusively with WIRED.

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