Facebook claims that it aims “to prevent potential offline harm that may be related to content on Facebook.” But it seems that it only takes aim at some, not all, of the offline harm on its site.
The social media platform announced on June 16 that it had removed Facebook groups where two suspects arrested for shooting police officers had bragged about their actions. It also announced that it would investigate other groups that identified as “Boogaloo,” defined by CNN as “the ideology of heavily armed extremists who want to fight back against perceived government tyranny.” However, Facebook didn’t respond to a request from the Media Research Center whether or not it would remove incitement to violence in regards to the riots and protests that are based on racial inequality.
According to CNN, a Facebook spokesperson said the use of the term “Boogaloo” and 50 other derivatives were banned when used with images or statements promoting violence. This was done in compliance with the site’s Community Standards, which state, “[W]e remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence. We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.”
But when it came to posts with photos of a burning Wendy’s in Atlanta, one Facebook users shared a link on the platform and captioned it, “Good, burn it down.” Another user simply said, “Burn it down.” And still another user stated “Ahead of their time. Still a good idea,” after sharing a link to an album called “Millions of Dead Cops.”
Facebook did not respond when asked if these posts violated their rules. Another Community Standard reads: “We remove content that glorifies violence or celebrates the suffering or humiliation of others because it may create an environment that discourages participation.”