Tech

Facebook bans 2 million-person 'Britain First' group and its leaders' profiles

Facebook bans 2 million-person 'Britain First' group and its leaders' profiles

The social media site Facebook has opted to ban the UK-based anti-Muslim group Britain First from their platform, citing their policy against "hate speech". Pages associated with those members were also booted from Facebook's platform.

Facebook went on to say that it's open to different political views, including controversial opinions that some might dislike.

Fransen, who previous year tweeted out videos showing purported violence by Muslims and was retweeted by President Trump, was found guilty last week of religiously aggravated harassment - she and Golding reportedly targeted homes of people they believed to be responsible for a gang rape - and sentenced to 36 weeks.

Back in December Facebook was on the receiving end of some flack over the Britain First Facebook pages, particularly after Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the far-right hate group.

Facebook further justified the page's removal saying they did not abide by the site's "community standards".

"We have community standards that clearly state this sort of speech is not acceptable on Facebook and, when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can", the statement continued.

But a quick search on Facebook now shows a Britain First page with 369 likes as of Wednesday morning.

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"[The pages had] repeatedly posted content created to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service", Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday.

Britain First gained worldwide attention last November after Donald Trump retweeted anti-Islam videos shared by Jayda Fransen on Twitter - with the US President sharply rebuked by the British government as a result.

Golding and Fransen are actually now serving jail sentences over their rhetoric-18 weeks for Golding and 36 for Fransen.

Facebook emphasised that they had not taken this decision lightly, and defended their position, stating: "There are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech created to stir up hatred against groups in our society".

Britain First had almost twice as many Facebook likes as the United Kingdom's mainstream Labour Party, which has only one million followers. Now, though, it's made the decision to ban the group's page, and prevent them from starting a new one.

Britain First is a vile and hate-fueled group. "I welcome Facebook's decision to remove their content from its platform - their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, after Trump's retweets, called Britain First "a hateful organization", and condemned Trump for putting a spotlight on the group.