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A Year After Capitol Riot, Facebook Remains an Extremist Breeding Ground

Technology Transparency Project: “A year ago, Facebook tried to wash its hands of responsibility for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, despite the fact that, as the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) documented, its platform was a prime tool for organizing the rally and spreading the conspiracy theories and militant extremism that drove the rioters. Now, as Americans approach the first anniversary of the insurrection, TTP has found many of the same troubling patterns on Facebook, with the company continuing to overlook militant groups that pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law. Even more alarming, Facebook’s algorithms and advertising tools are often promoting this kind of content to users. The new findings underscore how Facebook—now under parent company Meta—remains a powerful vector for domestic extremism, even after the Capitol attack that sought to overturn the 2020 election. Among the disturbing findings from TTP’s investigation:

  • Content associated with the Three Percenters—whose followers have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot—continues to circulate widely on Facebook.
  • One Facebook page connected to the Texas Three Percenters actively engages in fundraising, with no interference by Facebook.
  • Facebook algorithms promote Three Percenter pages to users, and in some cases, auto-generate such pages, giving them additional reach.
  • Facebook and Instagram still allow militia groups to run recruitment ads. One ad states, “We are prepared for war.”
  • In militia groups on Facebook, some members flaunt their service in the U.S. Army, highlighting the issue of domestic extremism in the military…”

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