Facebook bans hundreds of groups and users linked to boogaloo movement

  • Facebook has banned a network of hundreds of Facebook accounts, groups, and pages associated with the far-right “boogaloo” movement from its platform.
  • In a statement, Facebook called the network a “violent” and “dangerous organization.” It said the specific network of hundreds of groups and accounts it banned on its platform was distinct from the broader amorphous boogaloo movement because the former “actively seeks to commit violence.”
  • The social media giant said it removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages, and 106 groups linked to the boogaloo network it identified from its platform.
  • Multiple people associated with the extremist movement have been arrested on murder and domestic terrorism charges this month and in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality.
  • The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies have also circulated a number of intelligence assessments warning of individuals linked to the boogaloo movement inciting violence during the protests to start a second civil war.
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Facebook on Tuesday announced that it was banning a network of Facebook accounts, groups, and pages associated with the far-right, anti-government “boogaloo” movement from its platform, calling it a “violent” and “dangerous organization.” 

“Today we are designating a violent US-based anti-government network as a dangerous organization and banning it from our platform,” the company said in a statement. 

“This network uses the term boogaloo but is distinct from the broader and loosely-affiliated boogaloo movement because it actively seeks to commit violence,” Facebook continued. “For months, we have removed boogaloo content when there is a clear connection to violence or a credible threat to public safety, and today’s designation will mean we remove more content going forward, including Facebook Groups and Pages.”

As part of the designation, Facebook said that it removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 pages, and 106 groups linked to the boogaloo network it identified from its platform. Over 400 other groups and 100 pages were also removed from Facebook for hosting boogaloo-related content that violated the company’s policies.

“We have always removed boogaloo content when we identify a clear call for violence,” Facebook said, adding that it has removed over 800 posts connected to the ideology that violated its Violence and Incitement policy over the last two months. 

The extremist ideology has seen a resurgence following George Floyd’s death

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Individuals and accounts associated with the far-right extremist movement have come into the spotlight in recent weeks, particularly in light of nationwide protests against police brutality after the Memorial Day death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody.

Politico reported on two new intelligence assessments earlier this month warning that boogaloo extremists may soon target Washington, DC.

One note, dated June 15 from the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC), said that “the District is likely a target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted there.”

“Recent events indicate violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology likely reside in the National Capital Region, and others may be willing to travel far distances to incite civil unrest of conduct violence encouraged in online forums associated with the movement,” the NTIC’s assessment said, according to Politico.

Another note, dated June 20 from the Department of Homeland Security, said that “domestic terrorists advocating for the boogaloo very likely will take advantage of any regional or national situation involving heightened fear and tensions to promote their violent extremist ideology and call supporters to action.”

The primary goal of the DHS note is to provide information “regarding some domestic terrorists’ exploitation of heightened tensions during First Amendment-protected activities in order to threaten or incite violence to start the ‘boogaloo’ — a colloquial term referring to a coming civil war or the fall of civilization.”

On June 16, federal authorities said that a man charged with killing two officers in recent, separate attacks in California has ties to the “boogaloo” movement.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo was charged with killing a federal service officer, 53-year-old David Patrick Underwood at an Oakland courthouse in a drive-by attack on May 29, the Justice Department announced. Carrillo also faces state charges in the killing of Santa Cruz County Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller on June 6.

Law enforcement officials said Carrillo and his accomplice, Robert Justus, Jr., went to Oakland to kill police officers and believed that the protests would facilitate their motives.

Earlier this month, three men who were self-proclaimed members of the “boogaloo” movement were arrested on domestic terrorism charges and accused of carrying unregistered firearms and trying to spark riots during the demonstrations.

Trump falsely accuses the far-left group ‘antifa’ of stoking violence 

A participant holding a Black Lives Matter sign at the protest. Protesters by the thousands converged at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn marching down Flatbush Avenue to decry the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, with demonstrators denouncing acts of racism and police brutality across the country.

Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

The arrests come as President Donald Trump and his allies urge law enforcement officials to crack down on the protests and accuse “antifa” — a loosely organized far-left group of anti-fascism activists — of sparking violence during the Floyd demonstrations.

But a closer examination of court records, media reports, and social media posts shows little evidence of a widespread or organized antifa-led effort to infiltrate the protests.

In early June, The Nation reported that the FBI had “no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in violence that took place on May 31 as protests following Floyd’s death reached a climax. The report cited an internal situation report from the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office.

But the FBI’s report did warn that people associated with a right-wing social media group had “called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents” and “use automatic weapons against protesters.”

Politico also reported in early June that a DHS intelligence note warned law-enforcement officials that a white supremacist channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram encouraged its followers to incite violence to start a race war during the protests.

Citing the FBI, it said that two days after Floyd’s death, the channel “incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo.'”

One of the messages in the channel called for potential shooters to “frame the crowd around you” for the violence, the note said, according to Politico.