Facebook Takes Zero Action on Explicit Calls for Violence Against Anti-Racism Protesters

SOURCE:  CommonDreams.org, 2020-06-24

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    A new collection of data from the progressive advocacy organization MoveOn shows right-wing Facebook groups, including

    urging the use of violence against anti-racist protestors including the Black Lives Matter movement.

    MoveOn's research and monitoring included the retrieval of nearly 25,000 comments from Facebook posts, which were analyzed for hateful and violent language, with over 200 comments inciting violence against anti-racist protesters.

  • View the report, "'Shoot Them All:' Facebook Used to Incite Violence Against Protesters," here: Google Drive  [local copy (pdf)]

    In the wake of anti-racism protests across the country, right-wing Facebook groups have become hubs for racist and violent rhetoric. Fueled by conspiracy theories, dehumanizing speech, and misinformation, users on right-wing Facebook pages have encouraged police, military, and armed citizens to kill protesters. These groups, historically dominated by racist misinformation and an array of conspiracy theories, have become notorious hubs for right-wing extremists.

    "What we're seeing on Facebook is shocking, though hardly surprising when you consider the extent to which racists have been emboldened and encouraged by the Trump administration, and that Facebook has repeatedly provided them a platform," said Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn.

    "Facebook is a primary medium for right-wing extremists to congregate and exchange violent sentiments, while spreading false rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation. Despite the social media giant's vows to investigate and take down hate-fueled, violent posts and comments, the company's results are insufficient.

    "With the presidential election four months away, we implore Facebook to be hyper-vigilant about taking down comments calling for the deaths of anti-racist and peaceful protestors. We hope this collection of data will shed light on how serious the issue of inciting violence online is, and encourage Facebook to take action sooner rather than later."

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