A British historical society that goes by the name Wimborne Militia was suspended on Facebook after the social media giant falsely associated it with militia groups in the United States. The society typically shares posts depicting its members reenacting famous battles in British history.
That’s right—a group of historical reenactors was booted off Facebook because the Thought Police couldn’t distinguish reenactments of famous British battles from active militia groups in an entirely separate country.
It gets worse.
Not only was the society’s page suspended but so were the personal pages of five of its sixty members. Eventually all of the pages were restored, and Facebook claimed an “error” had occurred, as is often the cases from the most brazen incidents of censorship to the most subtle.
Wimborne Militia reenacts battles from the 19th century and participates in other community events. Just recently, for example, members hosted the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
The group made a statement saying they believe they were just accidentally targeted by Facebook’s algorithms which look for and ban militia groups.
“We suspected it was down to this business in the US where you have militia groups that are armed to the teeth and an algorithm is wiping off anybody who has the word militia on their page,” the statement read, heavily signaling disassociation with U.S. militia groups for good measure, apparently.
“It looks like Facebook made a blanket decision without checking us out. If they did it would have been fairly obvious that we aren’t a dangerous, political group,” the group added.
“We are an English Civil War re-enactment group with 17th century weapons which we had shotgun licences for. We operate under strict health and safety rules and everything is done by the book.”
It’s easy to believe one can’t even pretend to engage in make-believe centuries-old style warfare without being licenced to the teeth in the UK, that’s for sure.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said once the error was caught and the accounts restored.
Back in August, Facebook vowed to crack down on armed militia groups in the US along with groups associated with QAnon. By September, the social media technocrats had banned more than 6,500 pages and groups they say were associated with “militarized social movements.”
Brian Fishman, Director of Counterterrorism and Dangerous Organizations at Facebook, said that the company identified “more than 300 organizations” as a result of the new rule, though he did not disclose what groups he was referring to.