Facebook moves to limit spread of ‘Boogaloo’ groups after charges, Reuters reports. What’s this boog-a-loo thing?

Facebook Inc is making it harder to find user groups associated with the term “Boogaloo,” which refers to a potential U.S. civil war or the collapse of civilization, the company said on Thursday…

At least two of three men charged on Wednesday with plotting violence at a Las Vegas anti-racism protest participated in Boogaloo groups on Facebook, according to an FBI criminal complaint.

A potential civil war or the collapse of civilization: the Urban Dictionary agrees. The earliest relevant entry for “boogaloo,” from March 2019:

term used to describe the upcoming libertarian revolution against the government.

OK. A new name for an old thing. Reuters offers some insight into the movement but it’s not easy to pin down:

Many Boogaloo participants identify with white nationalist groups or militias, researchers say, but others are gun-rights advocates or just anti-government overreach and even support Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.

On the other hand, the Wikipedia entry on the boogaloos calls them, explicitly, a “loosely organized American far-right extremist movement.” It’s easy to picture it spring to real life from virtual boards like 4chan – suspiciously easy. Unexpectedly, this CNN piece is offering nuanced views of the movement. It quotes, among others, J. J. MacNab of George Washington university:

While there are pockets of white supremacist Boogaloos, the younger and bigger groups are generally not… While there are Boogaloos that support police, the younger and bigger groups detest them. While there are Boogaloos that want to discredit protests angry at the murder of a black man, there are younger Boogaloos that are incensed by the murder and want to join the protests.

I wonder how vulnerable these Boogaloo groups can be to infiltration by government agents – not just the inevitable FBI but agents of foreign governments? How susceptible are these young men to propaganda by Russian or Chinese manipulators? Are they aware of being targeted and subtly brainwashed, provided they are actually targeted and brainwashed?

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