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Facebook cracking down on Antifa, removes nearly 1,000 affiliated groups

Facebook is attempting to illustrate that its content moderation policies apply equally to fringe groups on both ends of the political spectrum

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Facebook headquarters in London
Facebook headquarters in London
(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty)
Updated: August 20, 2020 - 2:40pm

Facebook is stepping up efforts to remove posts on the social media platform by Antifa and others encouraging rioting .

The company has removed 980 groups that have been stoking the flames of chaos and unruly assemblies, as part of a more aggressive effort to ban dangerous post that includes amending its policies to shutout groups that support violent protests.

Facebook has banned 520 Antifa-associated pages and removed 160 ads for the group. The site has also restricted 1,400 hashtags that pertain to the militant leftist group's activities. 

“[W]e are expanding our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy to address organizations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety but do not meet the rigorous criteria to be designated as a dangerous organization and banned from having any presence on our platform," Facebook said in a statement. 

The tech giant also said it will allow users to post content that supports such movements and groups, so long as they do not otherwise violate Facebook policies but will restrict their ability to organize on our platform.

Beyond just blocking the groups, Facebook is preventing the radical organizations from running ads and monetizing content, in addition to prohibiting nonprofits on the site from soliciting funds on behalf of the orgs. 

The company is currently making the case that its content-moderation policies apply in equal fashion to violators on the left and right ends of the political spectrum.

The company's policies have recently led to the deactivation and removal of 790 QAnon groups, restriction of nearly 2,000 QAnon groups, and another 10,000 accounts on Instagram. Thousands of ad pages associated with QAnon have also been wiped from the platform. 

Facebook has eliminated the possibility of finding either radical organization with the Facebook search feature, and has been working to modify the hashtag feature on Instagram to prevent the spread of harmful accounts as well.