Ryan Devereaux+ Your Authors @rdevro reporter @theintercept — immigration. drug war. national security. Jul. 05, 2019 2 min read + Your Authors

NEW: Border Patrol agents tried to delete racist and obscene Facebook posts. We archived them.  https://interc.pt/2JsH8Gx 

Some background on the secret Border Patrol Facebook group story.

On Monday, @acinvestigates/@propublica published this blockbuster, revealing that the group “I’m 10-15” joked about migrant deaths and posted sexist memes, including some directed at @AOC  https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-agents-joke-about-migrant-deaths-post-sexist-memes 

The aftershocks were immediate, with @CBP announcing the launch of an investigation and lawmakers calling for agents responsible for the posts to lose their jobs.

On Wednesday, @tedhesson and @viaCristiano came out with another critically important story reporting that supervisors knew about “I’m 10-15” for years and that CBP monitored the group “as a source of intelligence”  https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/03/border-agency-secret-facebook-group-1569572 

As all of this was unfolding, “I’m 10-15” was renamed and archived, but not before many of the worst posts were deleted. I know this because I gained access to the group weeks ago and archived hundreds of them for a story, meaning I could watch the scrubbing happening in realtime

What @probuplica documented on Monday was not an anomaly, but that should come as no surprise. In the last month alone we have seen two major investigations into law enforcement social media activity.

See here:  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emilyhoerner/police-facebook-racist-violent-posts-comments-philadelphia 

And here:  https://www.revealnews.org/article/inside-hate-groups-on-facebook-police-officers-trade-racist-memes-conspiracy-theories-and-islamophobia/ 

In the case of “I’m 10-15,” the group was mostly indistinguishable from a lot of the ugliest right-wing content you find online — the only difference is that the group was designed for current and former Border Patrol and CBP personnel.


Joking and fantasizing about migrant deaths was common in “I’m 10-15.” In one particularly vile example, a member joked about roasting migrant kids over an open flame using the mylar blankets they’re given in detention.

“Little tonk blanket ideas!” he wrote.

Tonk, or tonc, is Border Patrol slang for migrant. To many agents, it refers to the sound your law enforcement-issued flashlight makes when it connects with a human skull.

The same user separately complained about missing an opportunity to kill a migrant while on the job, vowing that it wouldn’t happen again.

Group members also shared photos of documents that included migrants’ personal identifying information — including IDs — in a game to see who could produce the “stupidest” example of a Central American name.

These are just some examples, there are more in the piece — with names and screenshots.

From the time the @propublica story broke to the time we published, “I’m 10-15” dropped from nearly 10k members to a little over 4k.

In that time, however, @CNN broke a story on a second CBP group. It's safe to say there’s likely more fallout to come.  https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/politics/cbp-second-facebook-group-images/index.html?utm_source=twCNN&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2019-07-05T12%3A32%3A04 

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