Monday, 19 November, 2018

Facebook removes home page of far-right group Britain First

Protesters hold placards and British Union Jack flags during a protest titled'London march against terrorism in response to the March 22 Westminster terror attack Facebook bans pages of Britain First and leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen
Pablo Mccormick | 15 March, 2018, 04:09

Britain First had almost twice as many Facebook likes as the United Kingdom's mainstream Labour Party, which has only one million followers.

The social media platform said it had deleted the group's Facebook page, as well as that of its two leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen.

In a statement, Facebook said the far-right group's three pages, including leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen's, had "repeatedly posted content created to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups". Its announcement added that the pair had "repeatedly broken our Community Standards" and that recently they received a "written final warning".

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.

One recent investigation from Wired UK found a whole network of Facebook pages linked to Britain First sharing the same content.

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The Guardian reported that the group's considerable social media presence, particularly on Facebook, has been a key driver in the group's growth.

Facebook said in a statement that it had sent repeated warnings to the group, ordering them to remove any hate speech and Islamaphobic content, but that these had been ignored.

But it warned that "there are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech".

In November, Trump shared three videos posted by Fransen that purported to show Muslims committing acts of violence, a decision by the president that was quickly condemned by political leaders in the us and the United Kingdom. The White House nonetheless defended Trump's decision to share them.

Mr. Golding, Britain First's leader, and Ms. Fransen were both convicted last week on counts of religiously aggravated harassment stemming from videos they posted online.

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Sky News reports Britain First's Facebook page had two million followers globally.

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

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: 'Britain First is a vile and hate-fuelled group whose sole objective is to sow division.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been particularly vocal in demanding that social media companies act on extremist content.

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