Fallout 76 roleplay group had its Facebook account terminated for being mistakenly flagged as a hate group

    
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Politically, things in the US are… charged, to say the least, and the impact of misinformation efforts across social media platforms is more in the spotlight than it ever has been before. However, one prominent roleplay group in Fallout 76 ran afoul of the efforts by Facebook to stop these digital groups with a brief banning of several of their members on the platform along with the guild’s Facebook Group page.

The Free States Militia is one of the most prominent roleplay groups in the game, and its Facebook page had a reported two years’ worth of updates, pictures, stories, and other sentimental pieces of content. All of that disappeared one day out of the blue with no advance warning from Facebook, along with the personal accounts of several of the Free States’ members.

The prevailing assumption is that the group having the word “militia” in its name tripped a flag in Facebook’s Group review process, which is in place to halt what Facebook calls “organizations and movements that have demonstrated significant risks to public safety,” including QAnon, groups that support violent acts against protestors, and US-based militia organizations.

Facebook has since reinstated both the Free States Militia’s Facebook page as well as the personal accounts of everyone who was banned, issuing an apology for the mistake. “We apologize for removing the Fallout 76 group in error and have since restored the Group and admin accounts,” reads a statement from a company spokesperson.

source: PCGamesN, thanks to Schlag for the tip!
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Schlag Sweetleaf

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missed it by that much.jpg
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Utakata

“Whoops, that wasn’t the bigot…” >.<

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I don’t play FO76, but it should be interesting if they ever try and ban me. My gamer tag/name comes from back in the Command & Conquer days, when you could control militia units, and became my go-to name with Roman numerical units to distinguish them apart. I came to be a somewhat skilled tactician in many RTS games (List follows) and studied real life war/tactics also…(Including reading Sun Tsu’s Art of War…which had some deep-thinking on the issue.).

(Starcraft I with a 711/208/21 record and over 1k games played on II, along with Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Alpha Centauri, Civilization 1-4 + Call to Power, Sins of a Solar Empire and all the sequels, Star Wars : Empire at War 1+2, I mean, there’s a lot of these games I’ve played…I can’t even remotely name em all…)

I’ve used these names longer than Facebook has existed.

I don’t actually SUPPORT militias, because they are often cult-like groups of imbeciles who don’t know a damn thing about what they are talking about, much less claim to be defending. They are often just groups of yahoos that like to play with guns and sit around drinking and being dumb, while sitting around dehumanizing/depersonalizing others who don’t agree with them, to build themselves up to where they feel comfortable harming someone else because they don’t view them as a human being anymore.

It’s one reason I’ve been going by different monikers in games lately, with only the account name being based on that, because I’m too stubborn to go through and change them all.

I know, it probably leads off with a bad impression when someone reads my username now…and I’ve been thinking about that more of late, as I look at so many different usernames on streaming channels and seeing how bad so many of the names are/used to be. Like, they often tend to give an image that you’re not a nice person. (Some of them, are probably quite fine with that, but it’s not something I personally want.)

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Oh ohh… Looks like my FO76 gaming group, the West Virginia Republic could be targeted next if flagged as insurrectionists.

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Sorenthaz

And stuff like this is what happens when you start trying to silence groups and use AI/algorithms to moderate platforms using the excuse/justification that it’s only targeting the ever-moving goalposts that are things like “safety”, “hate”, etc.

All the while pretending to still be unbiased platforms to abuse old rules that were created back in the 90’s before the Internet really became what it is today.

Will be interesting to see if the censorship ever gets addressed or if it’ll simply continue to grow unabated. It’s pretty crappy that social media platforms have such strong monopolies over stuff like this.

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McGuffn

That has nothing to do with it.

These internet forums all grew out of a naivete about how people behave, and most of them wanted to be utopias. That informs everything they’ve done since, including their errors and blindspots. While the good old days were about wholesome things like the free flow of information, kirk v picard and porn that’s not the case anymore.

Facebook in particular is a cesspool. It has been almost since the beginning and always will be.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Any platform can be used that way. FB isn’t special in any regard on that front.

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McGuffn

Of course not. Facebook chose (again and again) to be shit. It didn’t have to be that way, it was a conscious choice.

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Sorenthaz

I’d say all social media is a cesspool. Facebook is just easy to pick on over stuff like Twitter and Reddit because both sides of the political spectrum hate Facebook.

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McGuffn

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/17/17989712/facebook-inaccurate-video-metrics-inflation-lawsuit

Facebook is easier to pick on because it is all encompassing in ways that twitter and reddit simply are not and the only constant in the company is that they will continually lie to you.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Both Twitter and Reddit, and many other ‘chans’ nowadays, are considered ‘cesspools’, so if you’re getting your information there now, you’ve probably been convinced by just the type of people you condemn…

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McGuffn

Considering that Facebook’s motto might as well be “Genocide for fun and profit” I’d say you’re wrong there. Again, you’re confusing the users, who come from everywhere, and the company’s operating ethos.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

It’s almost like you’re saying exactly what I’m saying, but you’re blinded by the fact that the people you’re recommending are also doing exactly what you’re saying, and literally being great propaganda centers, because they have convinced you it’s the other one, to the point where you can’t see it and are just ‘saying the company line’ essentially. It’s OK, I get it, I’ve seen plenty of brain-washed people lately, and there’s definitely places on the internet that are creating/churning them out. You don’t need to go all ‘Umadbro?’ on me about your fanboi group-site.

Personally, I’ve used FB for years, and never paid them a dime, and don’t get ads either because I run ad-block so they’ve never once made revenue off me for clicks either. The only thing they may be making money off of, is selling my info, and frankly pretty much the whole internet can/does do that (Unless you’re going all stealth mode VPN/etc), so eventually they learn things about you and sell your desires based on what you search around for anyway. I simply use it to converse with family, and used to use it to converse with friends when those existed. That’s not really on them either, because I don’t like people in general of late, because many of them create little hills to throw themselves on their swords on…just like you seem to be doing here…

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McGuffn

What makes you think I’m recommending people or fanboi sites. I don’t have to say twitter is good in order to say facebook is much worse.

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Bryan Correll

kirk v picard

Sisko.

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

not to be confused with that Thong Song guy.

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Adam Russell

Seems like if FB is that bad there should be plenty of other words to flag the bads besides just the use of the word “militia” all by itself.

Seems like they flag the innocent and let a lot of the guilty get off.

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Utakata

It’s not the reasons they’re “silencing” is the issue, it the method to which they use is problematic. In the end though, they’re not silencing anyone. As those have plenty of other places to spew their vile. /shrug

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Utakata

PS: *Pigtails have noted a one FuckCommieLibs has /upvoted the OP*

…anyone want to take bet on how long this “enlightened” poster is going to last in the comment section without getting *Bree’hammered always to Sunday? o.O

*Note: Yep, they don’t use algorithms around here to moderate. <3

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Bryan Correll

Maybe he just wants to make passionate love to commie libs and phrased it poorly.

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Bruno Brito

And stuff like this is what happens when you start trying to silence groups

So…Brazil has a law that forbids nazi speech from even existing. You can’t be a nazi here. Any kind of apology gets you into the slammer.

Forgive me if i’m being overly cynical, but i didn’t ever think: “Man, those nazis sure have some good ideas on how to advance humanity! What a great asset they are!”

As for Facebook, it’s a specially bad social media site, with terrible methods.

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2Ton Gamer

Great, so Soccer mom’s and men arguing over their fantasy football picks will be missing out on a game’s group page. I think this spells doom for the game above all else..

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Rndomuser

This was kind of their fault for starting group on Facebook in the first place. If they would’ve started their community on Reddit this would unlikely to happen. Not to mention they would get more people – I know of very few people who use the Facebook’s garbage site or apps and I know much more people who use Reddit for various communities. Hopefully this will be a good lesson for them ;-)

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Reddit is so 2015, Discord is where communities form these days…

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

People are always looking for that next place that won’t silence them/use censorship on them…but all of the communities both of you referenced, were at one time or another, havens for ‘terrorist’ groups also…which if you listen to all the fear-mongering of late, you should be afraid of, but did you stop and think that maybe those types were using these things so they could be harmful to others, and propagate their message more fully?

I mean, think about the word ‘Discord’ :

Definition of discord
1a : lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas)
b : active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions

…what do you suppose they were hoping for there?

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McGuffn

If this is true, I wonder what the makers of Riot are hoping for!?

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Considering their reputation as a workplace and the infamous nature of the communities in their games… exactly what they got?

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Jon Wax

Discord is it’s own cesspool

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flying_dutchman

Yeah… deleted my Facebook account back in college.

Once I learned all my future employers would be checking and reading all the idiotic things I posed back in highschool and college.

I’m ALWAYS against internet censorship and facebook and google have way too much control over what people see and don’t see on the internet. Especially since most mainstream TV media. (I’m looking at you fox news and CNN) have become SO partisan they hardly even count as news anymore. People are forced onto the net to try and find out what is going on, only to mired in an even bigger morass.

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2Ton Gamer

Agreed. FB is pretty much garbage. It was was once an okay place to catch up with out-of-state family, but even that turned toxic.

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BalsBigBrother

The sad part of this was that it went beyond the actual roleplay part and stepped into real life loss too. The dad of one of the members posted a final video message to her before he passed which was swept up and gone as a result of this ban.

Luckily as the article says Facebook restored everything once they figured out their mistake. I couldn’t begin to imagine how heartbreaking it felt for that person to lose that sort of thing for even a short time.

I would say to FB to do better but well ……. sigh

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Greaterdivinity

Facebook dealing with actual hate groups: Woah now, let’s not be to hasty and do anything. We could just like…do nothing and then blame the algorithm later.

Facebook dealing with RP groups for games that are clearly labeled: THIS SHALL NOT STAND ON OUR PLATFORM AND WE SHALL TERMINATE THIS WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE

Fuck Facebook, wish I didn’t need to maintain an unused account for work.

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Hikari Kenzaki

If this got caught up in a swath of bans for 5, 20, 50, or even 1 actual hate group, it was probably worth the temporary inconvenience.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Really? We’re to the point that we should presume guilty until proven innocent? Better that 100 innocent people are punished, rather than risk a single guilty party go free?

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federicobeiz

I think we’re past that point, actually. Most of the ‘anti-hate groups’ are hate groups themselves. You could call it the Magneto phenomenon. It’s like this really basic and blatant irony that somehow escapes most peoples’ notice.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah typically the “anti-hate” groups at this point are adopting similar views and tactics as the groups they’re claiming to be against. It’s just that since they have “anti-” in their name, they justify it by saying that they’re doing this only because they’re against whatever. They’re so blinded by their cause that they don’t realize they’ve become exactly what they claim to be fighting against.

That or they do realize it but still continue on because they have morality on their side and can guilt trip folks into siding with them.

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Hikari Kenzaki

No, because there was clearly an appeals process in place for the innocent persons to get their accounts back.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Uh huh. And that only works if the appeals process is functional. Which for a lot of these giant social media platforms it really isn’t. Unless you’re a massive personality with an audience of millions. Random person on youtube gets false flagged for “violent content” in a clip of a puppet show? Too bad, you have to be at least as famous as Markiplier before Youtube will assign an actual human to review your appeal. Otherwise you’re appealing to exactly the same AI that banned you.

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treehuggerhannah

Facebook is pretty notorious for their glacial to nonexistent response to actual hate groups and speech, so I’m not optimistic that this was part of some sweeping beneficial action.