‘Fallout’ gamer group on Facebook barred over ‘Militia’ in name

‘Fallout’ gamer group on Facebook barred over ‘Militia’ in name

A Fallout 76 group, named the ‘Free States Militia’ hosting some 90 plus members on Facebook, found its account barred from the platform with no prior warning, in a moderation-gone-wrong last week.

It is unclear whether the wipe came from an AI mixup or a simple human misunderstanding.

With its increasing imposition of stricter policies amid election season, the term ‘Militia’ prompted the platform to take down the account, without realising that the gaming group in itself was not affiliated with any real-life extremism. 

The members staged an outcry on Twitter, complaining about hours of lost data and engagements. Five of the admin members had been outright banned from the platform as well.

The group has since been reinstated, but the accidental ban speaks to Facebook’s uneven moderation efforts.

The name ‘Free States Militia’ could confuse the average user with no knowledge of the highly-popular, multi-player Bethesda game, but the group simply role-plays members of Fallout’s Appalachian Free States. 

In a statement to Kotaku, Facebook has apologised, acknowledging the err on their part.

“We are committed to taking action against Groups tied to violence. We have both AI that detects these groups as well as 15,000 human content reviewers, but occasionally Groups are removed in error. If we detect a Group is connected to a dangerous organisation, we may remove the Group and associated admin Profiles are disabled.”

Facebook hasn’t said what about the Free States Militia group that triggered it for deletion, even as the platform faces criticism for failing to get rid of actual militias peddling dangerous rhetoric on the social media platform.

The group has now removed the word “Militia” from its account names, and had made attempts to exercise greater caution with its social media presence. 

Their Twitter handle now reads “FSM Playstation Video Game Club,” while the Facebook group has been rebranded as “The Original Free States (Fallout 76 Group) PS4.”

[Sourced from Agencies]

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