An organization that is funded in part by left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations is pressuring Facebook to ban so-called “Patriot Party” groups that support former President Donald Trump.
“Facebook has announced crackdowns on militia groups and ‘stop the steal’ election conspiracies. But it’s allowing both to converge in a new pro-Trump ‘Patriot Party’ movement that’s growing rapidly on the platform,” says a post from the Tech Transparency Project, which was originally founded in 2016 as the Google Transparency Project.
“Facebook is allowing a far-right, pro-Trump ‘Patriot Party’ movement to take root on its platform, combining elements of militia activity and election conspiracy theories, according to research by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), which highlights Facebook’s continuing problems removing dangerous and misleading content from its platform,” the post continued.
The organization cited previous reports claiming that the former president, during his final days in office, considered forming a third political party he would call the Patriot Party. Officials close to Trump, however, have since clarified that he’s not interested in doing that but rather will focus on promoting certain GOP candidates through his new super PAC, “Saving America.”
The TTP went on to claim that the largely “decentralized” Patriot Party groups have “adopted a common symbol associated with white nationalism and are filled with talk of organizing local militia and overthrowing the government.
The organization also said that some of the Facebook groups organized transportation to the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., where Trump spoke to tens of thousands of supporters, some of whom broke away from the main group and took part in a riot that included storming the U.S. Capitol Building.
“The activity is a worrying new sign of Facebook’s problems dealing with emerging threats on its platform,” the TTP said.
In all, the Soros-funded group “identified 51 Facebook Groups and 85 Facebook Pages” that use “Patriot Party” in their name, along with some variation of a lion — imagery of which is also depicted in European, African, and Asian countries. Membership in these various groups, as of Jan. 20, had reached only about 90,420.
One group simply calling itself “Patriot Party” attracted more than 105,000 members over the course of eight days before Facebook banned it from the platform.
BizPac Review attempted to search for “Patriot Party” on Facebook, but could not locate any groups. Rather, this response appeared: “We’re temporarily hiding some results for this search query.”
“The proliferation of Patriot Party groups closely mirrors the spread of so-called boogaloo movement on Facebook that TTP first observed last spring. (Boogaloo supporters believe a second Civil War is coming.) As with the boogaloo movement, Patriot Party groups have used Facebook to coordinate activities, set up local chapters, and talk about violently toppling the current government system,” the TTP said.
“Inside these groups, members openly recruit for local militias and exchange information on military tactics, radio communication, and training opportunities, despite Facebook’s ban on “militarized social movements,” the organization noted further.
In the post, TTP also repeatedly referred to the riot at the Capitol as an “insurrection” in reference to some Patriot Party groups organizing to attend it.
“Since Jan. 20, when TTP conducted its initial count, Facebook has removed some of the Patriot Party groups and pages in a piecemeal fashion, but dozens of others remain active on the platform,” the group noted.
As for its funding, in addition to Open Society Foundations, TPP also says it receives money from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, which was established by the founder of Craigslist, and multimillionaire David Magerman.
The group isn’t the first to call for censorship of generally right-leaning groups and media outlets.
Last month, former Facebook security executive Alex Stamos told CNN’s media watchdog Brian Stelter that right-leaning news and opinion alternatives like One America News and Newsmax TV should be deplatformed altogether.
“We’re going to have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem – you know, that these companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes,” he said.
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