In Jakarta, Protesters Condemn Trump\'s Refugee Ban

Facebook on Wednesday removed a new Trump campaign ad that claimed taking in refugees would increase coronavirus health risks

  • It also announced it will  ban ads supporting militarized movements and QAnon 

  • The company began restricting and removing pages linked to the organizations under its new policy in August 

  • More than 300 groups have been identified over 6,500 groups and pages have been removed between August 19 and September 15, company exec said 

  • Facebook said it also saw an uptick of Proud Boys related content Wednesday after Trump refused to condemn white supremacists during the debate 

  • By Karen Ruiz For Dailymail.com

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    Facebook has removed a new Trump coronavirus campaign ad and has banned ads supporting QAnon and militarized movements, in its latest effort to tackle the spread of misinformation and extremism ahead of the presidential election. 

    The social media giant on Wednesday confirmed it took down ads from the Trump campaign that had claimed taking in refugees would increase the risks of COVID-19.

    The videos, which featured clips of Joe Biden discussing the border issue, began running on the platform on Tuesday with at least 38 different versions, NBC reported.

    'We rejected these ads because we don't allow claims that people's physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status,' spokesperson Andy Stone said.

    It also claimed, without evidence, that the Democratic rival would increase the number of refugees accepted into the US by 700 per cent. 

    Supporters of the QAnon theory protest in Oregon in May. Facebook on Wednesday announced it is continuing its crackdown on militarized social movements and QAnon by banning ads in support of the organizations

    Supporters of the QAnon theory protest in Oregon in May. Facebook on Wednesday announced it is continuing its crackdown on militarized social movements and QAnon by banning ads in support of the organizations

    The Proud Boys is a far-right fraternal organization that was founded on the idea that white men and western culture are under siege and champions being 'anti-political correctness' and 'venerating the housewife'. Members of the group are seen marching across the Hawthorne Bridge during a rally in Portland, Oregon, on August 17, 2019

    The Proud Boys is a far-right fraternal organization that was founded on the idea that white men and western culture are under siege and champions being 'anti-political correctness' and 'venerating the housewife'. Members of the group are seen marching across the Hawthorne Bridge during a rally in Portland, Oregon, on August 17, 2019

    The move comes as Facebook announced it is continuing its crackdown on militarized social movements and QAnon by banning ads in support of the organizations.

    The company began down-ranking content in restricted pages and groups earlier this month, meaning members would only see it further down in their feed.  

    'We are also prohibiting anyone on our platform from running ads that praise, support or represent militarized social movements and QAnon,' Facebook said in an update on Wednesday.

    In August, Facebook had banned about 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads tied to the conspiracy theorists which believe the president is secretly fighting against elite Satan-worshiping pedophiles in the government. 

    The effort was part of what they called a 'policy expansion,' seeking to limit violent rhetoric tied to QAnon, political militias and protest groups like Antifa.

    Brian Fishman, who runs Facebook's global counterterrorism team, on Wednesday said they have since identified more than 300 groups under the policy and removed more than 6,500 groups and pages between August 19 and September 15.  

    Facebook and Twitter have been under immense pressure to false ads and misinformation as well as dangerous conspiracy theories, particularly during an election year.

    Facebook and Twitter have been under immense pressure to false ads and misinformation as well as dangerous conspiracy theories, particularly during an election year.

    Brian Fishman, who runs Facebook's global counterterrorism team, said there has been an 'uptick' in content related to the far-right Proud Boys after Trump refused to condemn the white supremacist organization during the presidential debate

    Brian Fishman, who runs Facebook's global counterterrorism team, said there has been an 'uptick' in content related to the far-right Proud Boys after Trump refused to condemn the white supremacist organization during the presidential debate

    President Donald Trump told white supremacists to 'stand back and stand by' when he was challenged to condemn them

    President Donald Trump told white supremacists to 'stand back and stand by' when he was challenged to condemn them

    Fishman also revealed they have seen an 'uptick' in content related to the far-right Proud Boys after Trump refused to condemn the white supremacist organization during the presidential debate.  

    He said the content included memes featuring Trump's instructions to the group to 'stand back and stand by.'

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    During the debate, Trump deflected an opportunity to denounce white supremacists and militia groups amid violence that has marred some protests against racism and police brutality across the country.

    'Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,' Trump said, before immediately pivoting: 'But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa,' he said, referencing the largely unstructured, anti-fascist movement.

    Extremism experts warned the president's response could embolden Proud Boys supporters, who promptly circulated memes quoting the president's words on various social networks.

    Most of the content Facebook identified on Wednesday condemned the Proud Boys and Trump's comments about them, but the company was removing any posts it found that praised the group, Fishman said. 

    In 2018, Facebook banned the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group, and it has removed three networks of related accounts and content this year.

    Still, the world's biggest social network failed to catch organizers publicizing a rally in Portland earlier this month, which went on for weeks before it was spotted by the Tech Transparency Project, an outside watchdog group.

    On Wednesday, Trump supporters in Facebook Groups - which the company has promoted heavily this year, despite concerns about the difficulty of moderating those spaces - defended the Proud Boys and accused left-wing protesters of being 'domestic terrorists.'

    Twitter on Wednesday also announced it had removed 130 accounts from Iran that 'were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate'

    Twitter on Wednesday also announced it had removed 130 accounts from Iran that 'were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate'

    Above is a tweet from one of many Twitter accounts from Iran that had joined the online  conversation during the presidential debate

    Above is a tweet from one of many Twitter accounts from Iran that had joined the online  conversation during the presidential debate 

    Twitter said the tweets (pictured) had 'very low engagement'

    Twitter said the tweets (pictured) had 'very low engagement' 

    One member of the 30,000-member Trump Train MAGA Group called the Proud Boys 'hardcore patriotic Americans.'

    Facebook and Twitter have been under immense pressure to crack down on ads and misinformation as well as dangerous conspiracy theories, particularly during an election year. 

    Included in its update on Wednesday was Facebook's decision to ban ads on the platform and Instagram that call voting fraud widespread, or election results invalid, or impugn any one method of voting.

    The company announced the new rules in a blog post, adding to earlier restrictions on premature claims of election victory.

    The move comes a day after President Donald Trump used the first televised debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden to amplify his baseless claims that the election will be 'rigged.' 

    Twitter on Wednesday also announced it had removed 130 accounts from Iran that 'were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate.'  

    'We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard,' the company tweeted from its safety account.

    'They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation. Our capacity and speed continue to grow, and we'll remain vigilant.'

    Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8792731/Facebook-bans-ads-supporting-QAnon-militarized-movements.html

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