SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, with three other attorneys general, has issued a letter urging Facebook Inc. to halt the sale of military tactical gear and weapon accessories until after President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
In the letter, Raoul and his fellow attorneys general urge the company to immediately halt the advertisements while Washington, D.C., and state capitals around the country, including Springfield, prepare for the risk of inauguration-related violence.
“We all watched in horror on January 6 as violent extremists — many dressed in military-grade tactical gear — laid siege upon the U.S. Capitol. Currently, Illinois and states throughout the nation are bracing for those same extremists who are now threatening violence against our state capitols,” Raoul said. “We know that these insurgents are relying on social media, and I am urging Facebook to stop targeting ads to individuals who incite violence and seek to overthrow our nation’s democracy.”
Following the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, Facebook permanently removed the president’s account for using the platform to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” However, users that are believed to have an affinity for extremist content and election misinformation are continuing to post and receive targeted advertisements for military tactical gear, which could further promote and facilitate violent and politically motivated attacks.
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January 17, 2021 at 05:47PM