- Facebook announced Wednesday that it was removing pages associated with paramilitary organizations, including the New Mexico Civil Guard.
- As Business Insider reported, the New Mexico Civil Guard is a right-wing vigilante group whose leaders include a neo-Confederate with a swastika tattoo and a self-styled “national anarchist” with a history of denying the Holocaust.
- The news comes after the New Mexico Civil Guard pulled out of a rally, featuring local elected Republicans, claiming offense at “blatantly racist” comments from other speakers.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook has removed the New Mexico Civil Guard and other paramilitary organizations from its social network, it announced Wednesday.
In an August 19 statement, Facebook said it was taking action against groups that “have celebrated violent acts, shown that they have weapons and suggest they will use them, or have individual followers with patterns of violent behavior.”
Nick Martin, editor of The Informant, confirmed the group’s removal on Twitter.
—Nick Martin (@nickmartin) August 19, 2020
As Business Insider reported, the New Mexico Civil Guard is a right-wing vigilante group whose leaders include a neo-Confederate with a swastika tattoo and a self-styled “national anarchist” with a history of denying the Holocaust.
The group has appeared, heavily armed and in camouflage, at anti-racist protests in the state, earning it plaudits from some local Republicans, who planned to pay “special tribute” to the organization at a rally on Aug. 22.
Earlier this week, however, the paramilitary group announced — on its since-deleted Facebook page — that it was pulling out of that rally, citing remarks from other planned speakers that “came across as blatantly racist.” That came after another speaker told Business Insider they would not participate in the rally, following our reporting. (Other scheduled speakers include Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin, who has said Black athletes protesting racism should “go back to Africa,” and Rick Lopez, vice-chair of the state Republican Party.)
Facebook, announcing the group’s removal, said it would also delete pages associated with the “QAnon” conspiracy theory, and continue to delete accounts “when they discuss potential violence.” It also conflated armed paramilitary groups with anti-fascist organizations that have condoned property destruction, prompting outrage from long-time watchers of right-wing extremism.
“[O]utrageous,” David Neiwert, author of “Alt-America: the Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump,” responded on Twitter. “The far right thrives by spreading disinformation,” he said. “One of the underrated aspects of Antifa is that [it] spreads accurate information about the bad actors on the far right.”
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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