A report published Wednesday by the Tech Transparency Project, a project run by the nonprofit Campaign for Accountability, found the number of active groups has actually grown since June, when Facebook announced it would ban them. By July 24, there were roughly 20% more groups than there were in April, when TTP first warned of their growing online presence.
The loose-knit, gun-loving community of “Boogaloo bois” believes in the coming of a second U.S. Civil War. Members have used private Facebook groups to distribute information like bomb-making manuals, advice on kidnapping and evading authorities, and murder methods.
At least 110 Boogaloo groups have formed on Facebook since June 30, the day Facebook formally took action against them, and some now boast more than 1,000 members.
Circumventing Facebook’s efforts seemingly required little effort. TTP found that numerous groups at risk for removal escaped scrutiny by simply changing their name while leaving much of the rest of their content largely untouched. At least 39 such groups remain active thanks in part to that tactic.
Others have adapted by switching up their terminology to evade detection. Instead of “Boogaloo” or “big igloo” for instance, they might use the phrase “big luau” or entirely different words like “[redacted]” or “liberty.”
TTP found Facebook’s algorithm also continues to recommend Boogaloo-related groups to users regardless of a group’s name, helping swell their ranks with new members.
“Facebook’s supposed crackdown on Boogaloo supporters is nothing more than a PR stunt,” Campaign for Accountability’s executive director, Michelle Kuppersmith, said in an emailed statement.
“As long as Mark Zuckerberg refuses to get serious about enforcing his...