By Oisin Sweeney • 22 November 2020 • 21:05
FACEBOOK ‘failed to act’ on a sophisticated neo-Nazi network, according to new research.
Facebook is facing fresh criticism after researchers have exposed a sophisticated neo-Nazi network operating on its platforms.
Researchers have revealed that the network of 40 far-right extremist sites has over 800 thousand followers on Facebook and Instagram and is linked to violent Ukrainian militia groups such as Azov Battalion and Misanthropic Division. On their pages, followers can purchase merchandise such as Nazi SS symbols and stickers praising the Wisconsin teen who allegedly killed two Black Lives Matter protesters in August.
The London-based Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) claims that Facebook knew about the spread of these groups two years ago but ‘failed to act’. They said that the tech giant had ‘endangered public safety by letting neo-Nazis finance their activities through Facebook and Instagram’, adding that such groups ‘now know that Facebook allows them to recruit, organise, and raise funds without interference’.
Analysts fear that established right-wing militia groups in Ukraine, who rose from the Euro Maidan conflict, use slickly produced propaganda to recruit followers in western Europe. The CCDH believes that 10 British fighters have joined the group in Ukraine.
In response to these revelations, Facebook said they ‘regularly work to improve our technology to find and remove this content faster’, claiming to have removed 250 neo-Nazi pages. However, they also recently released a report revealing that one in every thousand pieces of content viewed on their platforms is hate speech.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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