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Business Insider:Prosecutors say Facebook deleted crucial evidence in a crackdown on extremist group

  • In August 2020, Facebook cracked down on extremist groups on the platform.

  • Facebook deleted accounts for the New Mexico Civil Guard, a militia group.

  • Prosecutors have asked Facebook to hand over that information to learn the identities of members.

Prosecutors said Facebook deleted crucial evidence when it shut down the accounts of a New Mexico militia group during a crackdown on extremist groups, The Washington Post reported.

In August 2020, Facebook announced the New Mexico Civil Guard was removed from the platform.

Business Insider's Charles Davis previously reported that the right-wing vigilante group's leaders include "a neo-Confederate with a swastika tattoo and a self-styled 'national anarchist' with a history of denying the Holocaust."

The Post reported that in June 2020, a group of men dressed in military-style camouflage confronted a group protesting a statue of a Spanish conquistador in Albuquerque, when one protester was shot and wounded.

The outlet reported that prosecutors accused the New Mexico Civil Guard of starting the violence even though the alleged shooter was not a member of the militia group.

On Monday, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez filed a petition in California, where the social media network is based, asking a judge to force Facebook to hand over information about accounts created by the militia.

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