When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces Congress on Thursday, to testify about extremism online, he will do so as hundreds of far-right militias, including some whose members were charged in the deadly insurrection on the US Capitol, continue to organize, recruit, and promote violence on the platform.
More than 200 militia pages and groups were on Facebook as of March 18, according to a new report published Wednesday by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), a nonprofit watchdog organization, and additional research by BuzzFeed News. Of them, at least 140 included the word “militia” in their name.
TPP found that Facebook is automatically creating pages for some of the militias from content that people are sharing, expanding the reach of the groups. This is not a new problem for the site, which in 2019 came under criticism for automatically generating pages for ISIS. In addition, BuzzFeed News and TTP found that the platform was directing people who “like” certain militia pages to check out others, effectively helping these movements recruit and radicalize new members. [Continue reading…]