Facebook bans Britain’s far-right hate groups

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London: Facebook has banned far-right groups including the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) from having any presence on the social network for violating the site’s rules around promoting hate and violence.

The banned groups, which also includes Knights Templar International, Britain First, and the National Front as well as key members of their leadership, have been removed from both Facebook and Instagram.

The social network’s policy does not allow groups or individuals which engage in “terrorist activity, organized hate, mass or serial murder, human trafficking or organized violence or criminal activity”.

Facebook said it uses an extensive process to determine which people or groups it designates as dangerous, using signals such as whether they have used hate speech, and called for or directly carried out acts of violence against others based on factors such as race, ethnicity or national origin.

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook,” a spokeswoman for the social network said.

Facebook is shutting down far-right accounts.
Facebook is shutting down far-right accounts.CREDIT:AP

“Under our dangerous individuals & organizations policy, we ban those who proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence. The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on Facebook or Instagram.

“Posts and other content which expresses praise or support for these figures and groups will also be banned. Our work against organized hate is ongoing and we will continue to review individuals, organizations, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”

Praise and support by others for any of the groups or individuals named by Facebook will also no longer be allowed on either social platform.

In February, Facebook announced a permanent ban for far-right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, for behaving “in ways that violate our policies around organized hate”.

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