- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 5, 2020

Facebook removed pages associated with right-wing group Patriot Prayer on Friday after finding they violated the platform’s rules against dangerous individuals and organizations.

Patriot Prayer and its leader, Joey Gibson, had their Facebook pages taken down as part of the platform’s efforts to remove “violent social militias,” the social network explained.

Facebook cited its rule on dangerous individuals and organizations, which it created last year and recently expanded to cover groups that pose “significant risks to public safety.”

Patriot Prayer was started by Mr. Gibson in 2016 and has been organizing rallies in support of President Trump throughout the Pacific Northwest throughout the last four years.

The group had publicly clashed with counter-protesters several times before most recently gaining notoriety as a result of a deadly shooting last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Patriot Prayer supporter Aaron “Jay” Danielson was fatally shot following a series of similar clashes in the city last Saturday while wearing a hat bearing the group’s insignia.

Michael Forest Reinoehl, a supporter of the left-wing Antifa movement, short for anti-fascist, was charged with Danielson’s murder but was shot and killed Thursday by police.

Mr. Gibson, 36, accused Facebook of taking sides in a statement reacting to the company’s removal of the social media pages Friday.

“Antifa groups murdered my friend while he was walking home, and instead of the multibillion dollar company banning Portland antifa pages they ban Patriot Prayer and myself,” said Mr. Gibson, according to Reuters where Facebook’s actions were first reported.

Facebook said last month it had removed hundreds of groups and pages related to “militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as Antifa.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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