Hundreds of state legislators have joined far-right Facebook groups, according to new report

  
Via:  John Russell  •  one month ago  •  20 comments

By:   Kira Lerner, Michigan Advance (Raw Story - Celebrating Years of Independent Journalism)

Hundreds of state legislators have joined far-right Facebook groups, according to new report
More than one in five state lawmakers across the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, according to a new report.Together the lawmakers sponsored 963 bills during the most recent legislative sessions, said the group that wrote the report, which describes the far-right efforts as...

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image.jpg?id=29822963&width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=700

An attendee wears a "Three Percenters" patch (far-right, anti-government militia group) to a right-wing rally calling for a so-called "audit" of the 2020 election at the Michigan Capitol, Feb. 8, 2022. (Laina G. Stebbins)

More than one in five state lawmakers across the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, according to a new report.

Together the lawmakers sponsored 963 bills during the most recent legislative sessions, said the group that wrote the report, which describes the far-right efforts as anti-human rights.

The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a think tank that defends democracy and human rights, identified 875 lawmakers who have joined at least one of 789 Facebook groups, including white nationalist groups, groups tied to QAnon, groups that spout conspiracy theories about COVID-19, and others that promote former president Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.

The institute's report, titled Breaching the Mainstream, lists all of the legislators identified as being part of far-right Facebook groups and detailed their legislative impact.

"We knew we had a problem on our hands, but we hadn't been able to quantify the depths of it," said Devin Burghart, president and executive director of the institute. "This was a first attempt on our part to wrap our heads around it, and it was pretty striking in terms of the various pipelines that have opened up to pump disinformation and far-right ideas into legislatures."

The legislators who have joined far-right groups made up 21.74% of all Republican legislators and 0.09% of all Democratic state legislators in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, according to the report.

More than 75% of the legislators in far-right Facebook groups identify as male, while 24.45% identify as female. Nationally, 31.2% of all legislative seats are currently held by women.

The report found 27 Michigan lawmakers participated in far-right groups.

While the legislators in far-right groups come from all 50 states, some states are represented more than others. The representation is highest in New Hampshire (62), followed by Pennsylvania (40), Minnesota (39), Missouri (36), Arizona (34), Montana (34), Maine (34), Georgia (32), Washington (30) and Maryland (27), according to the report.

The state lawmakers are also spread out in all regions of the country. Currently, 221 of them represent districts in the Midwest, 191 in the Northeast, 264 in the South and 200 in the West.

"It's a nationwide phenomenon," Burghart said. "Far too often, people think of this activity as being relegated to the deep South or the Pacific Northwest, but there are legislators in all 50 states who have joined these different far-right Facebook groups."

Many of the legislators identified have been at the forefront of pushing anti-democracy and anti-human rights bills, according to the report.

The lawmakers identified have supported far-right legislation including "Don't say gay" proposals and bills targeting the teaching of critical race theory in schools. They've proposed bills attacking women's reproductive rights, immigrants and the LGBTQIA community, the report noted.

"There was a very high level of support and sponsorship of bills coming from this cluster of legislators that we'd identified," Burghart said.

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

When will America wake up to what is going on?

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
1.1  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
When will America wake up to what is going on?

When so-called "Fact Reporting" becomes more "Inclusive" (All Sides Matter) ?

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
1.1.1  cjcold  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @1.1    one month ago

Far right wing lies and propaganda are far from inclusive.

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
1.1.2  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  cjcold @1.1.1    one month ago
Far right wing lies and propaganda are far from inclusive.

As much as the "Left" is (depending on what your definition of Is, Is ..... that Is) ?

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

The far left is in control of our government right now. There needs to be some non-partisan balance in place

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.2.1  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    one month ago

If you think Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer are hard left you must be way out in right field...

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.2.2  Hallux  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    one month ago

If the far left was in control, your head would have exploded by now.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.2.3  JBB  replied to  Hallux @1.2.2    one month ago

Ocasio-Cortez - Ilhah Omar 2024 would work!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    one month ago
Ocasio-Cortez - Ilhah Omar 2024

A winning ticket for sure.  Might even beat the margins obtained by:

  • George McGovern - Sargent Shriver 
  • Jimmy Carter - Walter Mondale 
  • Michael Dukakis - Lloyd Bentsen

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    one month ago
Ocasio-Cortez - Ilhah Omar 2024 would work!

Would work----to make this country into a shithole.

When you're right, you're right!

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2  Sparty On    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
2.1  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Sparty On @2    one month ago
they comin to git ya

We've already done been got, so says 70% of "Americans" !

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @2.1    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
2.1.2  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    one month ago

256

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2    one month ago

What in the world does your comment have to do with the seeded article?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3  Texan1211    one month ago
The lawmakers identified have supported far-right legislation including "Don't say gay" proposals and bills targeting the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

"Don't say gay"--made up nonsense from leftists.

CRT isn't being TAUGHT in schools according to leftists, so what's the problem there?

Is banning something that is claimed to not exist a problem for the left?

Why?

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4  Ronin2    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
4.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ronin2 @4    one month ago

Their site is hilarious.  The introduction states they are leftist windbags.  The rest is mumbling nonsense.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.2  Sparty On  replied to  Ronin2 @4    one month ago

Yeah it’s a far left propaganda outlet for true believers.

Shiite liberals if you will ....

 
 

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