A host of far-right figures and organisations known to “spread hate” have been banned from Facebook following a crackdown by the social media giant.
Twelve organisations and individuals have been banned by the site as part of its focus on tackling hate speech. The company is taking on people and organisations who promote a “violent or hateful mission” via the platform.
The British National Party (BNP), along with former party chairman, Nick Griffin, were banned by the social media giant. BNP party leader Paul Golding and former deputy leader Jayda Fransen have also been banned.
The English Defence League and one of its founding members, Paul Ray, are included in the ban while the National Front and Knights Templar International are also excluded.
Similarly, far-right activist Jack Renshaw has been banned. Renshaw is a former spokesperson for neo-Nazi organisation National Front who plotted to murder West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper.
In a statement, Facebook confirmed the wave of bans, stating: “Individuals and organisations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook. Under our dangerous individuals and organisations policy, we ban those who proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence.
“The individuals and organisations 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 organised hate is ongoing and we will continue to review individuals, organisations, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”
The newly-banned organisations and individuals will join far-right ‘activist’, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon). Earlier this year, Yaxley-Lennon’s accounts were banned from both Facebook and its sister platform, Instagram. YouTube followed suit shortly after by limiting his presence on the platform.
A number of politicians, including Yvette Cooper MP, chair the Home Affairs Select Committee, welcomed the ban; adding that it was “long overdue.”
“For too long social media companies have been facilitating extremism and hateful content online and profiting from the poison,” said Cooper. “They have particularly failed on far-right extremism as they don’t even have the same coordination systems for platforms to work together as they do in Islamist extremism.”