For Immediate Release

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Anna Zuccaro, press@moveon.org

Facebook Takes Zero Action on Explicit Calls for Violence Against Anti-Racism Protesters

WASHINGTON - A new collection of data from the progressive advocacy organization MoveOn shows right-wing Facebook groups, including the Tea Party, Trump for President 2020, Deplorables for Trump, Judge Jeanine Pirro Friends, NRA (unofficial) and Trump Daily Report, urging the use of violence against anti-racist protestors including the Black Lives Matter movement.

MoveOn’s research and monitoring included the retrieval of nearly 25,000 comments from Facebook posts, which were analyzed for hateful and violent language, with over 200 comments inciting violence against anti-racist protesters.

VIEW THE REPORT HERE: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fY8IZj-nkp_BjxLqqBj2PYRHJLagt4po/view?usp=sharing

In the wake of anti-racism protests across the country, right-wing Facebook groups have become hubs for racist and violent rhetoric. Fueled by conspiracy theories, dehumanizing speech, and misinformation, users on right-wing Facebook pages have encouraged police, military, and armed citizens to kill protesters.  These groups, historically dominated by racist misinformation and an array of conspiracy theories, have become notorious hubs for right-wing extremists.

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  • Comments were collected from 48 unique posts that contained hateful or violent comments directed at protesters. 
  • Posts referenced peaceful protests, military use of force against civilians and President Trump’s announcement that he would designate the anti-fascist movement “a terrorist organization.”
  • MoveOn found 207 explicit calls for violence, with phrases such: “Shoot to kill,” “Run them over,” “Shoot them all,” “Exterminate [them],” and “Eliminate [them]”

“What we’re seeing on Facebook is shocking, though hardly surprising when you consider the extent to which racists have been emboldened and encouraged by the Trump administration, and that Facebook has repeatedly provided them a platform,” said Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn. “Facebook is a primary medium for right-wing extremists to congregate and exchange violent sentiments, while spreading false rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation. Despite the social media giant’s vows to investigate and take down hate-fueled, violent posts and comments, the company’s results are insufficient.

“With the presidential election four months away, we implore Facebook to be hyper-vigilant about taking down comments calling for the deaths of anti-racist and peaceful protestors. We hope this collection of data will shed light on how serious the issue of inciting violence online is, and encourage Facebook to take action sooner rather than later.”

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