After years of pressure to crack down on hate and bigotry, Facebook has banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals”.
The company also removed right-wing personalities Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, along with Jones’ site, Infowars, which often posts conspiracy theories.
The latest bans apply to both FB’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts. Decried as censorship by several of those who got the axe, the move signals a renewed effort by the social media giant to remove people and groups promoting objectionable material such as hate, racism and anti-Semitism.
Removing some of the best-known figures of the US political extreme takes away an important virtual megaphone that Facebook has provided the likes of Jones, Yiannopoulos and others over the years. But it does not address what might be done with lesser known figures and those who stay on the margins of what Facebook’s policies allow.