Wimborne Militia in Facebook furore

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A historical re-enactment society in Dorset made national news when its Facebook page was suspended over suspected far-right links.

The Wimborne Militia is an historical re-enactment group that brings to life the history of the Dorset Militia circa 1685. This community group is seen at many events throughout Wimborne Minster, sporting their bright red uniforms and firing their muskets.

Social media giants Facebook took down the militia’s page as well as suspending five of its group administrator’s personal accounts after an algorithm targeted them twice in a month.  With the rising civil unrest in America, it’s believed this small and extremely friendly group was mistaken for a US far-right militia.

It was only when regional news BBC South Today ran the story, which was also picked up by national news networks, Facebook withdrew the ban and reinstated the page and personal accounts of the Militia members.

A Wimborne Militia spokesperson wrote on the now fully-functioning Facebook page The Wimborne Militia | Facebook : “A huge heartfelt thank you to the team at BBC South Today who against all odds have managed to get our personal accounts reinstated.

“It may seem trivial to some, but the bigger picture is how these social media giants control our personal data with impunity. Had it not been for a media giant like the BBC championing our cause our voices would never be heard.”

Chris Brown, 64, who heads up Wimborne Militia said: “We’re not about open rebellion. We’re about peace and community understanding and a group of eccentrics that like to dress up in fancy clothes! “

Wimborne Militia are pleased to be back on social media and looking forward to hosting events such as spoon-whittling competitions – clearly dangerous to democracy!

By: Tracie Beardsley

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