The tens of millions of Americans who use Facebook to post vacation photos, sell baby clothes, and argue politics with their liberal cousin have a new feature: Identify any Nazi skinheads they know and get them help for their misguided beliefs.
Starting last week, some Facebook users began getting a pop-up message that asks, “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?”
A second message warns Facebook users they may have been exposed to “extremist” content, and another message states that “violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment.”
A spokesman for Facebook told liberal news network CNN that the pop-up message is part of its Redirect Initiative which “aims to combat violent extremism” that is found in social media.
Citing the Facebook spokesman, CNN reports the prompt takes users to non-profit group Life After Hate, which was founded by former skinheads and is described by CNN as a group “that helps people leave violent far-right movements.”
FBI reacts to 'insurrection'
The newly-announced initiative by Facebook comes after President Joe Biden told Congress in April that “white supremacists” pose the “most lethal terrorist threat” in the United States. That claim is related to the violent Jan. 6 protest on Capitol Hill and, more specifically, the number of military veterans and law enforcement officers who were involved in the protest.
One News Now has reported that the number of military veterans who attended the "Stop the Steal" rally, and later surrounded the Capitol, prompted a controversial “Stand Down” order by the Pentagon to address right-wing “extremism” in the U.S. armed forces.
The riot itself has exposed a major rift between the Left and the Right: Democrats and many liberal media outlets describe the riot as an "insurrection" in which violent Trump supporters attempted to overthrow the federal government. Those same stories often state it was a "deadly insurrection" since five people died that day, leaving out that the only person killed was a woman in the Capitol Building who was shot dead by a police officer.
Yet the FBI has sent hundreds of agents to track down and arrest the "insurrectionists" across the country, leaving many of them in a jail cell to await trail without bail. As those stories emerge, the lack of bail for non-violent suspects is increasingly being described as political punishment.
Reacting to the Facebook message, national security expert Bob Maginnis says he is troubled by the administration’s definition of “extremists” and what that means for conservatives.
“They can interpret as they see fit what ‘extremism’ is,” he observes. “Obviously, they use the January 6 episode on Capitol Hill as a leverage point to go after people that were associated with voting for Mr. Trump.”
One clue that a literal Neo-Nazi is not far removed from a Trump supporter, at least from the Left’s point of view, is Life After Hate board member Vidyah Ramalingam. She leads the group Moonshot.com that monitors online extremism and explained her concerns to The Hill in a February story.
“We’ve seen this kind of blending and metastasization of various once-distinct ideologies, groups and movements,” she told the online news outlet. “You know, everything from white supremacist and neo-Nazis with armed groups and anti-vaxxers and election conspiracies.”
Dan Gainor of MRC TechWatch tells One News Now that Facebook is working with the Biden administration to root out conservatives.
“At the same time the Biden administration is talking about investigating the social media actions of people in the military, and working with social media companies to investigate private speech,” he warns, “they want to criminalize the way you think.”