Facebook bans Britain First – sends strong message over hate speech
Notorious hard-right fringe group Britain First shot into the limelight when President Trump “re-tweeted” one of their posts last year. But they’ll be struggling to get any more attention on social media, as Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has banned their official Facebook page. It’s a show of strength from a platform that has come under fire in the last 12 months for allowing too much extremist content, inappropriate use of political advertising, and “fake news” to proliferate.
Facebook’s share price is up by 32% over the past year
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Facebook says that Britain First’s page, along with those of its leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, repeatedly broke the rules regarding hate speech. The company issued a written warning, but to no avail. In a statement, Facebook said: "We do not do this lightly. But they have repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service."
It’s not the biggest obstacle Golding and Fransen face – they both recently received prison sentences for “religiously-aggravated harassment.” Still, it will hamper their ability to get Britain First’s message “out there” – particularly in light of the fact that Twitter banned them for similar reasons at the end of last year.
The move is a show of force. It follows promises made earlier this year by Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Speaking to Brussels audience, she said the company would try “to do better” when it came to privacy, hate speech, and political advertising abuses.
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