Facebook removes the official Facebook pages of Britain First and its leaders for spreading hate speech; the group made headlines in the US last year after a Trump re-tweet.
Facebook is cracking down on a far-right British political party, removing the official Facebook page for Britain First for spreading hate speech.
It also deleted the Facebook pages for party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, who notoriously posted an anti-Muslim video on Twitter last year, which US President Donald Trump later retweeted.
In explaining its decision, Facebook said Britain First and its leaders had repeatedly broken the company’s standards on acceptable content. “We do not do this lightly, but they have repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service.”
Facebook went on to say that it’s open to different political views, including controversial opinions that some might dislike. But it draws a line against hate speech. “People can express robust and controversial opinions without needing to denigrate others on the basis of who they are,” the company added.
Britain First has not responded to the page removals; Golding and Fransen were recently hit with 18 and 36 weeks of jail time, respectively, after being convicted of religiously aggravated harassment, the BBC reports.
The move may trigger concerns that Facebook is unfairly censoring conservative voices. Whether the platform will crack down on other political parties accused of abuse also remains to be seen. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to clean up the platform amid worries Facebook is dividing society along political and cultural lines.
Last year, the company indicated it was removing around 66,000 posts related to hate speech each week. But Wednesday’s crackdown may signal the company is preparing to take a tougher stance on the abuse, even when that means eliminating a page with over 2 million likes.
Twitter suspended Britain First party leaders in December.