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How Boogaloo groups persist and proliferate on Facebook, despite crackdown

A new report by the watchdog organization the Tech Transparency Project alleges that Facebook has failed in a promised crackdown on the so-called “Boogaloo Movement” due to a slow and ineffective response.

The Boogaloo Movement is a loose network of white power-affiliated social media groups that call for a second civil war, or are very sure that one is about to happen. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the term Boogaloo today is “regularly deployed by white nationalists and neo-Nazis who want to see society descend into chaos so that they can come to power and build a new fascist state.” The term “boogaloo” has been co-opted from the infamously named 1984 movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.”

Facebook announced on June 30 that all groups affiliated with the Boogaloo network would be banned, and said in a blog post that as of that day, the social network had removed “220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 Pages and 106 groups that currently comprise the network.”

According to Tech Transparency Project and as also reported by The Verge, around 110 new Boogaloo-related Facebook groups have been created since June 30. Many of these groups had more than 1,000 members, the report said.

These new groups have in many cases rebranded themselves, hiding behind the names of popular kids’ shows like Open Season, changing the name of their group to mimic the names of major media outlets, or using words that sound similar like “Boojahideen,” or “Big Luau,” so as to be indecipherable to outsiders but still clear to those in the-know, like the report said.

In fact, the phrase “Big Luau” has become so popular that the Hawaiian luau flower pattern has become a symbol of the movement: Supporters of the Boogaloo movement will often be seen at right-wing protests or rallies wearing Hawaiian shirts, or incorporating a stripe of Hawaiian flowers into American flags.

These groups have also shared tips on making bombs and Molotov cocktails, activities that went unregulated.

Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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Maya Shwayder
I'm a multimedia journalist currently based in New England. I previously worked for DW News/Deutsche Welle as an anchor and…
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