This week, Facebook announced a new enforcement policy that seeks to deplatform groups who coordinate online and spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence.
The new “coordinated social harm” policy was immediately used against 150 pages and groups connected to Germany’s Querdenken (Lateral Thinking) movement, which has routinely fueled resistance to government health restrictions and vaccines through anti-lockdown protests.
Facebook’s head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher wrote in a blog update Thursday that his team has been “expanding our network disruption efforts so we can address threats that come from groups of authentic accounts coordinating on our platform to cause social harm.”
Gleicher said: “Today, we’re sharing our enforcement against a network of accounts, Pages and Groups operated by individuals associated with the Querdenken movement in Germany.”
“We removed a network of Facebook and Instagram accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in coordinated efforts to repeatedly violate our Community Standards, including posting harmful health misinformation, hate speech and incitement to violence. We also blocked their domains from being shared on our platform. This network was operated by individuals associated with the Querdenken movement in Germany, which is linked to off-platform violence and other social harms,” he said.
Gleicher said the new policy allows Facebook to act against the “core network” of a group that commits widespread violations. He said individuals associated with the Querdenken movement regularly violated the platform’s terms of service by spreading health misinformation, inciting violence, bullying, and harassment.
Thursday’s action moves Facebook into a more aggressive role as the judge of the “new normal” in a post-COVID world. They’re the deciders of right and wrong and won’t let people with opposing views use their platform.