Facebook has removed a number of well-known far-right and extremist personalities from its social network as well as from Instagram, as reported by The Verge. Among those being removed from the platform is Alex Jones, who had already faced a temporary ban from Facebook last year, followed by a series of similar actions taken by other platforms.
Other names on the list include Milo Yiannopolous, another prominent figure in the far-right, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam group, and Laura Loomer. As you might expect, the reasoning behind the bans has to do with the spread of hateful and violent content, the promotion of such violent acts against others, or claiming to belong to groups that promote or engage in said violent acts.
Without providing specifics for each of the bans, Facebook did mention some of the actions that led to today’s decision. Alex Jones, for instance, appeared in a couple of videos alongside Gavin McInnes, who Facebook has previously identified as a hate figure. Yiannopolous also expressed support for McInnes, as well as Tommy Robinson, another personality designated as a hate figure by the social network. McInnes is, again, part of the reason for the ban of Laura Loomer, who also expressed support for Faith Goldy. Goldy had previously been banned from the platform for posting racist videos on her profile.
Social media, especially Facebook, have served as a platform to showcase and encourage some horrific acts, such as the Christchurch shooting earlier this year. As such, it’s only natural that the company is taking actions to prevent the spread of violence on its platform.