Facebook says it has removed and banned hundreds of accounts connected to a “violent” and “anti-government” American movement.
The agency said the network was little connected to the far-right “Boogaloo” movement, but was distinctive because it actively sought to commit violence.
Armed members of Boogaloo were seen in recent protests in the United States.
The move comes when Facebook faces a boycott of advertisers about hate speech on the platform.
Large companies like Ford, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have gotten publicity from Facebook, encouraged by activists who say the social media company doesn’t do enough to remove racist and other hateful content.
On Tuesday, Facebook said it was disrupting the “dangerous” group on its platform.
“He is actively promoting violence against civilians, police and government officials and institutions,” said a statement. “The members of this network seek to recruit others within the broader boogaloo movement, sharing the same content online and adopting the same offline appearance as other people in the movement to do so.”
The Boogaloo movement shares followers with some neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, as well as libertarians and anarchists.
Facebook removed 220 accounts on its homonymous platform and another 95 Instagram accounts, in addition to 28 pages and 106 groups that “currently make up the network”.
“We have also removed more than 400 additional groups and more than 100 other pages for violating our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations,” he said.
He added that the removal of the accounts was “the last step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform”.
The social media site said it has been closely following the Boogaloo movement since 2019.
The movement, often called “Boogaloo Bois”, is loose and without leadership. Followers generally subscribe to two fundamental beliefs: the desire for an armed overthrow of the government and an unwavering commitment to arms ownership.
It started out as a relatively small movement on the 4chan website, but over the years it has grown considerably in size.
Last month, a U.S. Air Force sergeant with connections to the movement was charged with the murder of a federal security officer during a Black Lives Matter protest. He was also charged with the murder of another officer eight days later.
Last week, US Attorney General William Barr formed a Justice Department task force to fight violent extremists against the government, including the Boogaloo movement.