Facebook Blacklists U.K. Historical Reenactors After Mistaking Them for U.S. Militia

Wimborne Militia shooting guns
Wimborne Militia/Facebook

Facebook suspended the pages for a British historical society after falsely tying it to militia groups in the United States. The society frequently shares photos of its members participating in reenactments of famous battles in British history. Five of the 60 members of the society have also had their personal pages suspended by Facebook, which eventually restored all pages and admitted an “error” had occured.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, a historical reenactment group based in the U.K. was suspended from Facebook last week after the Masters of the Universe accidentally tied the organization to militia groups in the United States.

The group, which calls itself the Wimborne Militia, reenacts famous battles from the 19th century. However, it also participates in other civic events. Recently, it hosted a town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

In a statement, representatives from the group said that they believe they were caught up in Facebook’s algorithms. “We suspected it was down to this business in the US where you have militia groups that are armed to the teeth and an algorithm is wiping off anybody who has the word militia on their page,” the group wrote in a statement.

“It looks like Facebook made a blanket decision without checking us out. If they did it would have been fairly obvious that were aren’t a dangerous, political group,” the group added. “We are an English Civil War re-enactment group with 17th century weapons which we had shotgun licences for. We operate under strict health and safety rules and everything is done by the book.”

Fortunately, Facebook was eventually able to restore the pages belonging to the group and its members. “The Group and accounts were removed in error and have now been restored. We’re sorry for any upset this has caused and we’ve taken steps to prevent this happening again,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

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