Online bans fail to silence US extremists drawn to protests

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — For months, the nationwide protests against racial injustice and COVID-19 lockdown orders have attracted all kinds of extremists using online platforms to plan, coordinate and drum up support for their activities. Facebook and other tech companies have banned accounts linked to anti-government extremists. But the recent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and elsewhere show how easy it can be for them to avoid the digital roadblocks. Tech Transparency Project director Katie Paul says at least four private Facebook groups used their accounts to promote plans by supporters of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement to attend the protests in Kenosha before a gunman shot and killed two protesters last week.