The official Facebook page for Britain First was banned as well as its main leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. After several warnings about its posts to no effect, Facebook deemed these mainly Islamophobic posts as “designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups.” Britain First claimed to be “Islamophobic and proud,” followed by a call to the invasion of mosques.
Facebook has been working for years now in order to deal with extremist content shared on their site. However, this ban will symbolize the beginning of an apparently effective campaign against hate groups. Britain First had around 2 million likes on Facebook and, despite its poor relevance on British politics; the movement has achieved high relevance on social media.
JUST IN: Facebook has banned far-right group Britain First for hate speech https://t.co/0Z1QLFEJDI
— CNN International (@cnni) March 14, 2018
How Britain First earned its ban on Facebook
The social media giant explained that the final ban against Britain First came subsequent to the group ignoring a final of many previous warnings regarding the standards of the social media company.
For a while now, there have been several forms of offensive content uploaded to the movement’s Facebook page, including pictures comparing Muslims to animals, pictures of leaders with the caption “Islamophobic and proud”, and several videos posted with hateful and offensive comments against Muslims, featuring in some cases “no zones” for them to come close.
The social media company, however, stated that any political views are welcome to be displayed on Facebook as long as it is done in a respectful manner, and without the need to “denigrate others on the basis of who they are.”
This move was praised by British political figures such as Prime Minister Theresa May, who expressed her approval and praised the move to the House of Commons hoping other companies will follow. London mayor Sadiq Khan also spoke against Britain First as a “hate-fueled group,” and specifically welcomed Facebook’s decision to remove their content.
JUST IN: Facebook says it has removed far-right ‘Britain First’ group's pages from the platform because the group’s content “has repeatedly broken our Community Standards."
President Trump almost apologized for retweeting the group earlier this year. https://t.co/Ntww9ZtdF1 pic.twitter.com/tTqlrHR7tq
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) March 14, 2018
Facebook’s anti-hate campaign
Facebook has made public its community standards document to reaffirm the ongoing anti-hate campaign. In a strong firm statement, the company said: “Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook.” It also stated that any hate speech based on religion, race or gender will be immediately removed.
The social media giant also banned both party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen’s pages without the possibility of reopening or creating new accounts, due to their repeated violations of community standards. This move inspired Twitter to ban both party leader accounts as well, as an enforcement of its new anti-abuse rules.