In recent days, Facebook has come under fire from big brands for its reluctance to speak out regarding violence, resulting in many pulling digital advertising from the platform over the next 30 days.
While criticism of the social media platform is rightfully justified, it must be said that Facebook has been upping its activity when it comes to banning violence and hate groups.
The latest batch of bans pertains to a network of accounts linked to the “boogaloo” movement in the United States. This movement is characterised as being pro-gun, anti-government and carrying the threat of inciting violence.
“As part of today’s action, we are designating a violent US-based anti-government network under our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy and disrupting it on our services. As a result, this violent network is banned from having a presence on our platform and we will remove content praising, supporting or representing it,” Facebook said in an official statement.
“This network appears to be based across various locations in the US, and the people within it engage with one another on our platform. It is actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions,” it adds.
As a result of the steps it has taken this week, the platform says an estimated 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages and 106 groups that comprise the “boogaloo” network have been removed, as the company looks to make its social media offerings “as inhospitable” as possible for them.
“We have also removed over 400 additional groups and over 100 other Pages for violating our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy as they hosted similar content as the violent network we disrupted but were maintained by accounts outside of it,” the company continues.
Now that swift acton has been taken, the big question now is why Facebook has been able to do so with this group, but remain inactive when it comes to the “looting starts, shooting starts” comments of US president Donald Trump.
When and indeed if the company can take a stronger stance on that front, it will have gone a long way to winning back the confidence of its community.