It’s becoming increasingly common for conservative Facebook users to incorporate the word “Benghazi” into their names on the site.
The Huffington Post documented the growing trend Wednesday. Multiple Facebookers who added “Benghazi” to their names told Business Insider they hope to remind their friends and followers of their outrage over the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in that attack.
Martin ‘Benghazi’ Vasquez of El Monte, Calif., said he believes the administration’s shifting explanations about the attack were “a deliberate move to confuse the public” and that President Barack Obama is “intentionally trying to destroy this nation.” Vasquez also said he’s noticed conservatives adding other political-charged terms such as “Illegal Immigration” to their names on Facebook.
“People want to put what is in the political spotlight in their names…what we’re thinking is exactly what is happening: people picking this up, spreading it and running with it in the media,” Vasquez explained.
HuffPo said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly when Facebookers began putting “Benghazi” in their names. However, they pointed to early posts from several large groups including this May 2013 message that was sent by “Christian, Conservative, Patriot and Not Afraid” to its 30,000 Facebook followers.
Another participant in the trend, Michael ‘Benghazi’ Kinter, said thinks conservatives feel “the very least” they can do for the Americans killed in the attack is “changing our name to Benghazi until we get some answers and some justice.” Kintner is the Tioga Country Zone Leader of New York Revolution, a conservative political activist group. He also runs “Michael Kintner’s Wake Up America” page on Facebook, which has 4,000 followers.
“Even if tomorrow, the government announced the arrests of dozens of terrorists and dozens of government officials from the top all the way down, I would still keep the ‘Benghazi’ name to remind future politicians and terrorists that this is what happens when you kill Americans or break your oath to protect and defend them,” Kinter explained. “Justice will be served and you will honour your oath to protect and defend the American people and the constitution or you will not be a part of this country.”
Conservatives aren’t the only ones who have used their name on Facebook to promote their beliefs. Facebook users on the opposite end of the political spectrum have added the word “equality” to their names since at least 2010. It’s a move intended to incite action in regards to same-sex marriage legislation.
However, these small acts of political or social protest are in direct violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service, which states that users must use their own real names on Facebook. Business Insider reached out to Facebook to ask about their policy towards people putting political terms in their names, but as of this writing, we have not received a response.
Here is a sampling of “Benghazi” Facebook profiles we found. The users’ legal names have been blurred to protect their privacy.
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