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Facebook profited off boogaloo ads urging violence before ban: report

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Facebook is banning a network of anti-government extremist “boogaloos” from its platform, calling the group “violent” and designating it as a “dangerous organization,” the company announced Tuesday.

“This is the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform,” the company said, adding that it had banned “220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 Pages and 106 groups that currently comprise the network.”

But despite those claims, BuzzFeed News reported later Tuesday that, for several months before Facebook’s crackdown, the advertising giant took money from boogaloo accounts that ran ads on Facebook and subsidiary Instagram that openly promoted violence.

One of the ads — some of which were still live as of Tuesday — said things like “join the militia, fight the state,” and featured movie clips depicting police officers being shot and killed, according to BuzzFeed News.

A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the boogaloo ad content “does not sound good,” adding that the ads would be reviewed and the Tuesday crackdown was “just the start of the impact” on the boogaloo network.

Facebook has been facing increasing pressure, including from prominent lawmakers, to take stronger action against hate speech on its platform, and critics have accused the company not just of amplifying racist content that’s posted organically, but also of profiting off advertisers who pay to actively promote racism.

Earlier this month, civil rights groups called for advertisers to boycott Facebook following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inaction on controversial posts by President Donald Trump. Since the campaign launched, more than 40 major brands, including Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Adidas, have pulled ads from the social media platform.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story. 

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