We all know Facebook has banned Milo Yiannopoulos, Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, and many other extremists. But the question arises why? Or with which rights? Read the full story here!
According to some policies or rules, one of the biggest social networking company Facebook has rights to ban any of their users and that too anytime.
And, recently, they did something similar. They banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, and other extremists, stating they violated its rules on “dangerous individuals.” They banned them after years of pressure to deal with hate and bigotry on the platform.
As the entire world is connected to one of the biggest social media sites ‘Facebook,’ it is very important for them to have some safety policies for their users. And, one of those policies is‘Dangerous individuals and organizations.’
Under this rule, Facebook does not allow any organizations or individuals that are engaged in the following to have a presence on their platform.
This is to prevent and disrupt real-world harm. Not only this but they also remove content that expresses support or praise for groups, leaders or individuals involved in these activities.
The social network accused the host of right-wing conspiracy website Infowars, Alex Jones, Ex-Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos of hate speech and UK Editor Paul Joseph Watson.
The Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, will also be excluded as he has expressed anti-semitic views.
The ban also affected Laura Loomer, an anti-Islamic activist with a large social media presence and Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist.
Apart from these people, Facebook has already banned Britain First, one of the anti-Islamic UK groups.
The latest ban not only applies to Facebook but also Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
While explaining the ban, the company said in a statement,
“We’ve always banned individuals or organisations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”
“The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
One spokesperson at Facebook stated that the ban would apply to each representation of these people on both Instagram as well as on Facebook.
The firm further explained that apart from banning them, the company would remove pages, groups, and accounts which are set up to represent them, and also would not support the promotion of events if the banned individuals are engaged in those events.
The company Facebook explained its grounds for banning users:
1. Alex Jones was banned as he had hosted his programme on Gavin McInnes, leader of the Proud Boys, whose members are known for anti-Muslim, racist, and misogynistic rhetoric. Facebook has designated Mr. McInnes as a "hate figure.”
2. Then they banned Milo Yiannopoulos because he had publicly praised both Mr. McInnes and English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson. Well, both are also banned from the network.
3. Laura Loomer praised another banned figure, Faith Goldy, a Canadian and also appeared with Mr. McInnes.
4. As already mentioned, the nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was banned for making several anti-semitic remarks earlier this year.
However, the company has been criticized for giving forewarning of the bans because that gave those affected an opportunity to redirect their followers to other services.
It majorly happened because Alex Jones was broadcasting on Facebook about his impending ban just before the ban on Thursday.
Also, Mr. Yiannopoulos wrote to his followers on Instagram,
“I’m about to be banned.”
“Please sign up for my mailing list before this account disappears.”
When ex-Breitbart News Editor Milo Yiannopoulos was asked to comment on his ban, he emailed,
However, Jones reacted aggressively during a live stream of his show on his Infowars website on Thursday.
Referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Jones said,
“They didn’t just ban me. They just defamed us. Why did Zuckerberg even do this?”
He also claimed himself a victim of “racketeering” by “cartels.”
“There’s a new world now, man, where they’re banning everybody and then they tell Congress nobody is getting banned.”
Meanwhile, UK Editor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted that he was not given a reason and that he “broke none of their rules.”
“Hopefully, other prominent conservatives will speak out about me being banned, knowing that they are next if we don’t pressure the Trump administration to take action.”
However, Nehlen, Loomer, and Farrakhan did not respond to messages for comment.
Keegan Hankes, the Senior Research Analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center where hate groups in the US get tracked, wrote,
“We know that there are still white supremacists and other extremist figures who are actively using both platforms to spread their hatred and bigotry.”
Further, a former Facebook executive and an internet policy expert at Harvard, Dipayan Ghosh, said that the ban isn’t as big a step as Facebook appears to be spreading it — it’s just driving its existing policy.
“There will always be more purveyors of hate speech that try to come on these platforms.”
“Will advocates have to push year after year just to get (a handful of) individuals off? At this rate it seems likely. And this doesn’t address the problem of what happens at the margins.”
Harvard’s Ghosh said that banning somebody with huge followers, like Jones, is against Facebook’s commercial interest.
“As soon as they kick Alex Jones or Laura Loomer off their platform, it immediately ticks of a huge number of people.”
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