Proud Boys Unite, the Facebook page associated with alt-right group Proud Boys USA, was taken down today after social media users reported it for promoting violence against women.
The page was no longer searchable on Facebook. Following the link through Google leads to a standard error page: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”
Known for seeking violent confrontation with leftists and antifa protesters at alt-right events, bizarre initiation rituals that involve beatings, and their role in organizing the deadly Charlottesville protest in 2017, the Proud Boys trace their origins to the so-called men’s rights movement and espouse a wide range of racist and nativist ideas.
Founder Gavin McInness, who describes himself as a “neo-masculine reactionary,” calls them a “pro-West fraternal organization.” Detractors liken it to a nihilistic cult or a street gang.
While Facebook has been subject to well-deserved criticism for failing to enforce their “community standards” against blatant misogyny and hate speech while taking down legitimate, non-violent content instead, this time the Proud Boys seem to have gone too far.
“Leftist women are more third-wave feminist and less feminine than ever and now, you’re not even women anymore,” a Friday post at the group’s website says, rationalizing fascist street violence against women. “That’s what you’ve been asking for and that’s what you’ll get.”
“It’s still wrong to punch women, you’re just not women anymore.”
And: “How did we go from punching a woman made you a social outcast to celebrating it so fast? We didn’t. Punching women is still fucked up, but they aren’t women.”
The calls to violence began to spiral once the article was posted to the Facebook page.
“A lot of their followers responded in the comments saying they don’t care who starts the fights,” Will, one of the reporting parties, explains. Then “the page admin replied along the same lines,” fanning the flames.
“They have a recent tendency to say that their opponents are ‘not women anymore’, awarding themselves permission to use violence,” he continues.
Will asked Deep State Nation not to share his last name. He reported the thread along with a few friends and was able to pass along screenshots of Facebook’s reply emails stating that the page had been removed for “violating community standards” and “promoting graphic violence.”
“Violence, threats of violence, and hate speech towards marginalized groups are lamentably common on social media and it’s overdue that [Facebook] admins did more about it,” he says.
“I’m used to being told that this stuff doesn’t violate Facebook’s community standards, even though it obviously does. Well done for finally getting it right.”
He adds that similar reports have been made against the Proud Boy Magazine page, which is still in place at the time of this writing.
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