Facebook recently updated its “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy to include many right- and left-wing groups, hundreds of which are related to Antifa.
In an effort to restrict leftist militants, social media powerhouse Facebook recently announced that it removed 980 groups used by Antifa to encourage rioting.
The company had stated that it would be changing its policies in order to go after groups supporting violence. The company said in a blog post: “While we will allow people to post content that supports these movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate our policies, we will restrict their ability to organize on our platform.”
Facebook also restricted 1,400 related hashtags, removed 520 pages and took down 160 ads. They also stated that they would “limit recommendations” of related groups and accounts, reduce their ranking in the news feed and “prohibit [their] use of ads, commerce surfaces and monetization tools.”
The company’s move is a rare one among the social media oligarchy, as other platforms – namely Twitter and Snapchat – have recently limited the visibility of President Trump’s tweets and other content.
In the blog post, Facebook stated that they already remove groups that encourage violence, but they “have seen growing movements that, while not directly organizing violence, have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior.”
A change in Facebook’s “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy was made to address those movements.
Although they can choose what to do with the content posted on their platforms, in the interest of fairness, it is critical for social media companies to be just and balanced when it comes to restricting groups that organize and advocate violence.
As the election approaches, other social media platforms should follow in Facebook’s footsteps and ensure that their policies toward dangerous and violent groups are unbiased and non-partisan. This is imperative for a country that has always defended free speech for all.