Facebook’s neo-Nazi shopfronts funding far-right extremism
Facebook and Instagram are hosting dozens of accounts that sell neo-Nazi merchandise to fund far-right extremism. Facebook has allowed them to gain 80,000 followers despite being warned about the problem two years ago. We expose the international far-right networks behind these accounts and their links to known extremists. It shows how tech giants have provided them with a platform to reach mainstream audiences and generate funding.
We investigated a network of websites, Facebook pages & groups, Instagram accounts, and Telegram channels operated by neo-Nazi violent extremists, and found:
1. Neo-Nazis use Facebook and Instagram as shopfronts to advertise branded merchandise.
3. These networks are linked to domestic violent extremists apprehended in the US.
Facebook/ Instagram must (1) stop hosting these actors and networks, (2) implement measures to prevent their return and (3) help lawmakers and law enforcement worldwide by opening extremist spaces to investigation.
Big Tech is failing to act on extremism. Our report, “Hatebook”, shows:
- Facebook and Instagram host the majority of the 112,000 followers of the neo-Nazi networks we expose across all platforms.
- These neo-Nazi networks are using Facebook and Instagram to openly sell products featuring symbols of the Nazi SS, glorification of Nazi death squads, and antisemitic hate.
- Choosing profits over public safety, Facebook failed to act on intelligence passed to it by an NGO two years ago, allowing the continued operation of a network that funds Misanthropic Division, an extremist group with links to domestic violent extremists in the US and UK.
- These extremists also use the encrypted messaging app Telegram to coordinate their efforts on mainstream platforms, process payments and spread propaganda.