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Daily Dot: Why did Facebook delete the records of a militia that it banned following a shooting?

The Facebook Papers demonstrate it's aware of such groups' propensity for violence.

A New Mexico prosecutor is going to court in an attempt to force Facebook to turn over records of a group it banned after a shooting. The prosecutor says Facebook claims it deleted the records.

In June 2020, a self-styled militia called the New Mexico Civil Guard (NMCG) appointed itself guardians of a statue of a Spanish conquistador in Albuquerque. Shots rang out as protestors attempted to remove the statue. A man was wounded; another arrested.

Though the accused shooter purportedly wasn’t a member of the NMCG, Facebook banned it within days. The NMCG appeared on Facebook’s list of banned “dangerous individuals and organizations” the Intercept revealed last month.

As the Daily Dot reported last year, the NMCG formed on Facebook a few months before the shooting. When civil rights protests rocked the nation, its members began showing up armed and in tactical gear.

Now the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is suing the group for violating New Mexico law prohibiting acting as a police or paramilitary force. As such, it’s asking for Facebook’s internal communications about its decision-making process to ban the group and what it decided to retain about the account.

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