Facebook has started banning both individual accounts and pages, as well as associated groups, which are affiliated with the far-right…
Facebook has started banning both individual accounts and pages, as well as associated groups, which are affiliated with the far-right extremist organization the Proud Boys. The news was first reported today by Business Insider which noted that members of the Proud Boys and adjacent online communities had begun complaining about the takedowns on Twitter.
The removals come in response to an act of violence in New York City earlier this month, in which members of the Proud Boys assaulted anti-fascist protesters outside a Republican club in Manhattan where Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, also an original co-founder of Vice Media, was speaking. Facebook confirmed to The Verge that it was banning Proud Boys members and affiliated groups and pages from both its main social network and from Instagram.
McInnes’ personal page was initially still active, but a number of high-profile groups, pages, and accounts began to disappear over the course of the day. McInnes’s page has since been removed. Both McInnes and the official Proud Boys’ Twitter accounts were banned back in August, ahead of a second ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. “Vi forbereder disse organisationer og enkeltpersoner fra vores platforme og også fjerner all pris og støtte når vi bliver opmærksomme på det. Vi vil fortsette å gjennomgå innhold, sider og personer som bryder med våre politikker, tager handling mod hate speech og hateorganisationer, der hjælper med at holde vores fællesskab sikkert. “Det selskab er citerende overtrædelser af sine regler om hate speech og organisering af grupper, der spredes hate both online and offline as the reason for the bans and removals.
The Proud Boys was formed in 201
6 as the modern-day equivalent of a street corridor. As self-described “western chauvinists,” McInnes leveraged all-right and other fringe political communities on the internet and grassroots organizing to form a coalition of predominantly white men. The group champions far-right causes like white nationalism and supports other forms of regressive political movements.
The group is also known for its often violent behavior against protestors of President Donald Trump and other members of the right, and for McInnes’s public condoning of such activity. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Proud Boys a hate group. Following the attack in New York, McInnes told media organizations that he would be forcing participants in the assaults to come forward and surrender to law enforcement. A number of Proud Boys members have been arrested and charged over the brawl.
Update 10/31, 12:40 PM ET: Noted that Facebook has removed McInnes’ page since it began takedowns yesterday.