Historical re-enactment group members see Facebook accounts suspended in error

Historical re-enactors had their Facebook accounts frozen in error after apparently being mistaken for right-wing groups from the United States.

The Wimborne Militia, which has around 60 members, recreates historical moments at local events around Wimborne, Dorset.

The group said the accounts of five members were disabled, leaving them unable to post photos and content.

Facebook said it has now reinstated the accounts.

At the start of December, the group’s Facebook page said: “It seems that due to events overseas, Facebook is deleting anything to do with Militias. Unfortunately despite being a British Reenactment society we seem to have been caught up in the algorithm.

Hello, It seem that due to events overseas, facebook is deleting anything to do with Militias. Unfortunately despite…

Posted by The Wimborne Militia on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

“So if this page disappears that is why. We shall have to start again!”

A Facebook spokesman said: “The group and accounts were removed in error and have now been restored. We’re sorry for any upset this has caused and we’ve taken steps to prevent this happening again.”

Facebook has taken down hundreds of groups and pages linked to US-based militia groups, and thousands related to conspiracy theorists QAnon, in a bid to combat the growth of disinformation on the platform.

The move, announced in October, was part of a policy shift towards movements with links to violence and a crackdown on hate speech.

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