Facebook has clamped down on the spreading of hate speech on social media, banning some of the most notorious far-right groups in the UK.
Among others, Britain First, the National Front, the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP) will be banned from posting on Facebook.
As part of this new ‘dangerous individuals and organisations’ policy, high profile far-right individuals will also face a ban. This includes Jack Renshaw, a neo-Nazi who pleaded guilty to plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper.
Supporting or praising such groups will also go against community guidelines, meaning individuals who post about or coordinate support for these extreme groups could also face a ban.
About bloody time
— Alb Bullen (@Eb3Alb) April 18, 2019
In a statement regarding the ban, as per The Guardian, Facebook have said:
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.
I’ll just file this under “things that could have been done a decade ago”.
— Gwilym David Blunt (@GDBlunt) April 18, 2019
As reported by the BBC, chair of the Home Affairs Select committee, Yvette Cooper, has described this ban as being ‘long overdue’ as well as a ‘necessary first step’:
For too long social media companies have been facilitating extremist and hateful content online and profiting from the poison.
They have particularly failed on far-right extremism as they don’t even have the same co-ordination systems for platforms to work together as they do on Islamist extremism.
These new guidelines are now in effect, with the group pages in question having already been taken down. Any new accounts made by these groups will also be removed, even if they should register as political parties.
About time! No need to witness such hate, racism and xenophobia on such a universally diverse platform. Well done to @facebook
— Grabthar (@djbeardface) April 18, 2019
Hopefully this ban will help towards ensuring a kinder, safer online space, where people can use Facebook without the fear of encountering cruel and damaging hate speech. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
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