Facebook suspends white nationalist groups encouraging ambushes of George Floyd protests

Facebook has suspended a number of accounts associated with white nationalist groups after they advocated bringing weapons to ongoing protests in the US.

The social media company also took down a number of pages and accounts which were connected to a fake antifa account operated by white supremacists which Twitter removed on Monday.

Protests continue in the United States following the police killing of George Floyd, with a number of peaceful protests being attacked by police following President Donald Trump’s call for the authorities to “dominate the streets”.

Two white supremacist groups were identified agitating by Facebook during these protests, with the site taking action before completing its investigation due to the risk of violence.

Among the suspended accounts were some that attempted to organise members to attend a local protest armed with weapons.

According to executives at the company who spoke to Reuters, these accounts were removed based on their behaviour and not their political opinions.

President Trump last week accused the entire social media industry of censorship and anti-conservative bias, signing an executive order aimed at curbing protections for the sites as publishers.

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Twitter has hidden a tweet from his account for glorifying violence when he quipped “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” amid the protests following Mr Floyd’s death.

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said that his company would not be challenging the president’s messages in this fashion, drawing criticism from many of his employees.

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden criticised the president, claiming Mr Trump is “consumed with his blinding ego” and exacerbating unrest in the US.

Mr Biden said Mr Trump’s “narcissism has become more important than the nation that he leads”, and added “the moment has come” to deal with systemic racism in the country.

The president responded on Twitter: “Sleepy Joe has been in politics for 40 years, and did nothing. Now he pretends to have the answers. He doesn’t even know the questions.

“Weakness will never beat anarchists, looters or thugs, and Joe has been politically weak all of his life. LAW & ORDER!”

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