Fallout 76 Fake Militia Group Accidentally Banned by Facebook
The group was banned for a day, along with the admins of the group.
Social media network Facebook has been under a lot of fire this year, not only for its privacy concerns, but also because of how it deals with Groups and Pages that incite violence and can potentially be harmful. Apparently, last week it was announced that the Fallout 76 role-playing group Free States Militia had been banned following what seems to have been one of the social media networks moderation sweeps — be that through human or AI moderation.
The group that’s also known in-game as the Appalachian Free States, are a group of players that role-play as the anarchist secessionist militia movement that’s heavily embedded into the lore of Fallout 76. However, it wasn’t just the Facebook Group that has been banned, but also all of the admins were banned from accessing the group.
“[Facebook] just banned our page and banned all admins from our Gaming group.” said in a tweet, “This is what censorship in the US looks like! When Facebook cant [sic] tell the difference from video games and real life.”
So @Facebook just banned our page and banned all admins from our Gaming group. This is what censorship in the US looks like! When @Facebook cant tell the difference from video games and real life. We just lost 2 years of lore and pictures. @DCDeacon @fchadfallout76
— FSM Playstation Video Game Club (@Free_StatesMil) October 1, 2020
Jessica Dickey, one of the admins of the group had spoke to Kotaku saying, “A video game fan site based on an in-game faction of the same name. It makes no sense, especially when there are real life militia groups still up and running on Facebook.”
Thankfully for the group, the community was there to offer its support, and as a result Facebook backtracked on the ban and in a statement to Kotaku explained, “We apologise for removing the Fallout 76 Groups in error and have since restored the Group and admin accounts,” The spokesperson also states that, “We are committed to taking action against Groups tied to violence,” they add, “We have both AI that detects these groups as well as 15,000 human content reviewers, but occasionally Groups are removed in error. If we detect a Group is connected to a dangerous organisation, we may remove the Group and associated admin Profiles are disabled.”
Personally, I think it’s understandable that the group got caught up in the banning if it was taken at face value. However, further inspection before banning should have been taken as Facebook would have noticed the group has a decent set of ground rules such as “Be kind and courteous, don’t be a douche,” “No hate: don’t be a racist prick, don’t be a homophobe, don’t mess with the Free States Militia.”Also, the main giveaway being that it’s a video game group that features images of a community inside of a video game.
I’m unsure whether the group was previousy upfront about it being a video game, but the Facebook Group is listed as “The Original Free States (Fallout 76 Group) PS4” and the Twitter includes “***VIDEO GAME***” in its bio.
Featured image courtesy of @Free_StatesMil Twitter