Inside the Boogaloos' Facebook-to-Violence Pipeline - 2020-06-19
Six men who were recently arrested across the United States had one thing in common: all were members of Facebook groups for the "Boogaloo" movement, and had allegedly used those groups to threaten or plan violence.
The Boogaloo is a meme-turned-ideology of loosely affiliated right-wing and libertarian types focused on explicit violence in the name of starting a second civil war. Over the past month, feds have busted six alleged members of the movement, charging three in a failed scheme to start violence at protests, two in the shooting of a pair of federal security officers, and one for an illegal steroid business. All six were members or moderators of Boogaloo Facebook groups, sometimes even posting on the same pages.
The arrests highlight the central role of Facebook groups in organizing the Boogaloo movement, a year after the company announced a new focus on promoting group pages. And despite vows in recent weeks to rein in extremist activity—including the Boogaloo in particular—a trawl of extremist enclaves and conversations with experts reveal a thriving culture of violence on Facebook even as the country faces a reckoning with racism and sprawling unrest.