DISCORD SHUT DOWN BOOGALOO SERVER FOR INCITING VIOLENCE

Discord, a platform popular with gamers, has shut down one of the largest servers used by followers of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement after it was exposed in a VICE News article.

By Balthazar Malevolent

DISCORD SHUT DOWN BOOGALOO SERVER FOR INCITING VIOLENCE

The U.S. military seems to have a problem with a brewing boogaloo. Online networks frequented by the anti-government movement, known for its meme culture and Hawaiian shirt-clad followers, who are often called Boogaloo Bois, are flocking to active-duty military.

Discord.

"Boogaloo" is the civil war code, which is the movement's ultimate goal, and some of its followers are trading in memes glorifying violence against federal agents and cracking jokes about the imminent "Boog." Recently, they have become regular features of anti-lockdown and Black Lives Matter protests in states that allow firearms to be carried openly in the military style.

study of some of the largest private Facebook groups that contribute to the boogaloo campaign showed thousands of participants self-identified on their personal profiles as the active-duty military. Members spanned a number of branches, including the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Air Force, and a range of roles, ranging from infantrymen, engineers, military bus drivers, medics, to "amphibious assault crewmembers."

Some of the online boogaloo groups that are most involved are on Discord, a popular platform amongst gamers. There, leaders discuss ways to co-opt demonstrations against racism and police brutality to move their own agenda forward. And current or former military personnel, according to screenshots given in the news, have chimed in with their expertise, from the best gas masks to military-grade weapons.

"I wasn't particularly surprised to see current and former members of the military participating in online boogaloo parties," said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University who studies how extremist groups function online. "The problem for me right now is whether military men are attracted to online groups, or they themselves form groups. What direction does that power take? One Discord member, who claimed to be a National Guard leader, also addressed his upcoming deployment to Philadelphia in response to the protests.

Discord's "Confidence & Protection" department looked into the server and concluded it breached their group rules for "threatening and promoting abuse." Later on Wednesday night, Discord took action and removed the server — and deleted the accounts of all 2,258 users.

"We take these issues incredibly seriously and carry on tracking our

service proactively for any bad actors," a Discord spokesperson explained.

Are you using Discord for your business? We think it is great! They say even designer Rick Owens is often on Discord to communicate with his team.

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