Facebook is banning far-right party Britain First for peddling bigotry

Facebook removes pages of far-right British group

Britain First leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen talk to the media outside Belfast Laganside Courts after Fransen was released on bail on December 15, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Facebook also banned two of the party's leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. Pages associated with those members were also booted from Facebook's platform. But political views can and should be expressed without hate, ' the social network said.

The move comes just days after Britain First's leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen, who hit the headlines a year ago after her posts were retweeted by President Donald Trump, were jailed for hate crimes.

Other content violations included an image with a caption comparing Muslim immigrants with animals, and multiple videos posted deliberately to incite hateful comments against Muslims.

"We recently gave the administrators of the Pages a written final warning, and they have continued to post content that violates our Community Standards", the Facebook statement read.

Fransen and Golding were jailed last week after being convicted of racially aggravated harassment.

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The White House said at the time that Trump did not know Fransen was a leader of the ultranationalist group when he shared her anti-Muslim videos on Twitter.

Facebook's banning of Britain First follows in the footsteps of Twitter Inc., which late past year pulled accounts linked to Britain First, alongside USA white supremacist organizations like the League of the South and American Renaissance. When this went viral, Twitter suspended the Britain First account, and two months later, President offered a questionable apology for his actions.

Facebook has taken down the account of Britain First, a far-right party with a massive following on the platform, for "content created to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups", the company said.

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".

Facebook is regularly criticised over content which it bans or indeed content it allows to be published.

"Their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible, and Facebook's decision to remove their content is welcome", Mayor Khan said. Facebook says that the group has repeatedly violated rules against hate speech, and denies that the bans are an infringement of free speech.

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