Facebook can’t keep up with all the violent ‘boogaloo’ content posted by anti-government extremists
Boogaloo protesters (screengrab)

Facebook is having a hard time keeping up with extreme anti-government "boogaloo" content on the social media platform.


The loosely organized, hard to define movement is mainly built around opposition to gun safety reform and armed opposition to government authorities, but their constantly evolving language and imagery make Facebook pages pushing violence difficult to pin down and delete, reported the Washington Post.

“It's like Jell-O -- it just keeps changing and moving,” Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who tracks online extemism. “That makes it concerning because really bad people are taking advantage of that and moving their ideas in.”

Some of movement's social media pages disavow white supremacy, but many members express racist views and armed "boogaloo" adherents have shown up at protests against lockdown orders and Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

“It's all targeted towards building distrust of police and basically saying that the U.S. needs armed rebellion,” said Fadi Quran, campaign director at the global nonprofit group Avaaz.

Avaaz flagged pages between May 28 and June 18, while protests raged against police brutality, calling for armed violence or sharing inflammatory misinformation about the demonstrations.

The movement's name, which riffs off the 1984 movie "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo," refers to a second civil war that followers believe is inevitable, and members often wear garish Hawaiian shirts as one of their constantly moving in-jokes.

Facebook changed its community standards last month to ban pages and groups with boogaloo-affiliated terminology when used alongside images of armed violence, and the social media company promised to change its algorithms to stop promoting other boogaloo content to members of such groups.

However, the Post found 15 different posts from 12 groups flagged by Avaaz that violated those standards by promoting violence, and five of them had some form of "boog" in their name.

Facebook has since removed 11 of those pages, and the other was still under review by a moderator.

The newspaper also found many other boogaloo-themed pages and private groups that promoted similar content on the sidebar.

“We continue to remove content using boogaloo and related terms when accompanied by statements and images depicting armed violence,” Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack told the Post. “We are also preventing these Pages and groups from being recommended on Facebook."