Published: Thu, March 15, 2018

Facebook bans far-right Britain First group and its leaders

Facebook bans far-right Britain First group and its leaders

Facebook has banned from its platform the pages of the far-right British group Britain First and its two leaders, one of whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE retweeted previous year.

The official Britain First Facebook page has been taken down, as have the official (but not personal) pages for the group's leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen, the Verge reported on Wednesday.

Facebook said that all three pages in question repeatedly violated its community standards, even after the administrators received final written warnings.

"As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have now removed the official Britain First Facebook page and the pages of the two leaders with immediate effect", Facebook continued.

Fransen, 31, was jailed for 36 weeks last week for religiously aggravated harassment, while Golding, 36, was given an 18-week term for the same offence.

Britain First had almost twice as many Facebook likes as the United Kingdom's mainstream Labour Party, which has only one million followers.

"Britain First is a vile and hate-fuelled group", he said.

The group hasn't been totally kicked off Facebook.

"I'm very pleased to welcome the action that Facebook has taken", Prime Minister Theresa May said in parliament, "I hope other companies will follow".

Facebook added: "We are an open platform for all ideas and political speech goes to the heart of free expression".

Golding previously urged supporters to continue following the group on other social networks following its Twitter ban in December.

But in its post, Facebook made it clear that there was a fine line between expressing controversial political views and expressing hate.

The Britain First Facebook page had over two million likes. Still, the ban is more symbolic than it is the beginning of an effective campaign against hate groups.

Facebook's announcement was welcomed by London mayor Sadiq Khan. But big social media companies must wield the power they've amassed responsibly.

"Their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible, and Facebook's decision to remove their content is welcome".

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