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Facebook pulled ‘thriving’ white supremacist accounts after being called out in new report

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW (Photo by Jason McELweenie)

Facebook took down dozens of white supremacist pages after being contacted by the Huffington Post.

“A new study reported that white supremacist groups are “thriving” on Facebook, despite repeated assurances from the company that it doesn’t allow extremists on its platform,” Huffington Post reported. “The watchdog group Tech Transparency Project released a study Thursday that found more than 100 white supremacist groups had a presence on Facebook.”

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The report is titled “White Supremacist Groups Are Thriving on Facebook” (PDF).

“Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members, according to a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) investigation, which found the activity is continuing despite years of promises by the social network that it bans hate organizations,” the report explained. “TTP recently documented how online extremists, including many with white supremacist views, are using Facebook to plan for a militant uprising dubbed the ‘boogaloo,’ as they stoke fears that coronavirus lockdowns are a sign of rising government repression. But TTP’s latest investigation reveals Facebook’s broader problems with white supremacist groups, which are using the social network’s unmatched reach to build their movement.”

The report explained that TTP “conducted searches on Facebook for the names of 221 white supremacist organizations that have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), two leading anti-hate organizations.”

“Of the 221 designated white supremacist organizations, more than half—51%, or 113 groups—had a presence on Facebook,” the report noted. “Those organizations are associated with a total of 153 Facebook Pages and four Facebook Groups. Roughly one third of the organizations (34) had two or more Pages or Groups on Facebook. Some had Pages that have been active on the platform for a decade.”

Some of those pages have since been removed from the social networking platform.

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“After HuffPost emailed a Facebook spokesperson about TTP’s report this week, project researchers noticed the company had removed pages for 55 white supremacist groups identified in its report,” the site noted. “Still, many white supremacist organizations identified in TTP’s report remain on Facebook. One user-created page for Arktos Media — the fascist European publishing house with close ties to American white supremacist Richard Spencer — is still active. More than 42,000 people have liked the page. A page for the hate group Fight White Genocide, which has more than 1,000 likes, is still active. A trio of years-old pages or groups called Right Wing Death Squad are also still online.”


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