Facebook is making it harder to find user groups with the term “Boogaloo,” which refers to a potential U.S. civil war or the collapse of civilization, the company said on Thursday.
Facebook will no longer recommend these groups to users with similar associations.
At least two of three men charged on Wednesday with plotting violence at a Las Vegas anti-racism protest participated in Boogaloo groups on Facebook, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
A series of reports by researchers and media have drawn attention to the groups on social media. An advocacy group called the Tech Transparency Project warned that Boogaloo followers were discussing taking up arms while promoting protests to “liberate” states from coronavirus lockdowns.
On May 1, Facebook banned the term “boogaloo” when used with images of weapons and calls to action or conflict. To evade the scrutiny, many have switched to terms such as “Big Igloo” or “Big Luau” while maintaining the same discussions about weaponry, future wars and conspiracy theories.
Many Boogaloo participants identify with white nationalist groups or militias, researchers say, but others are gun-rights advocates or just anti-government overreach and even support Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.
One of those arrested in the Las Vegas plot had “liked” several Boogaloo groups and had posted pictures of the Confederate flag.