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Facebook bans 2 million-person ‘Britain First’ group and its leaders’ profiles

Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen (YouTube)
March 14, 2018

Facebook announced Wednesday that it has banned “Britain First” and its leaders from the social media platform for repeated violations of its community standards.

“Content posted on the Britain First Facebook Page and the Pages of party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen has repeatedly broken our Community Standards,” a statement from Facebook read.

The decision to ban the group was made after the group ignored a final warning about posting content that violated community standards.

“We are an open platform for all ideas and political speech goes to the heart of free expression,” a Facebook statement read. “But political views can and should be expressed without hate. People can express robust and controversial opinions without needing to denigrate others on the basis of who they are.”

“We have community standards that clearly state this sort of speech is not acceptable on Facebook and, when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can,” the statement continued. “Political parties, like individuals and all other organizations on Facebook, must abide by these standards and where a page or person repeatedly breaks our community standards we remove them.”

The group, which had two million followers on its Facebook page, will not be allowed to make another page.

President Donald Trump last year retweeted posts from Fransen that contained unverified videos of Muslims engaging in violent acts.

The most recent content that resulted in Facebook removing the group is believed to compare Muslims immigrants to animals and a photo of group leaders with the caption: “Islamophobic and proud.”

Last week, the two leaders were found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment and received jail sentences.

“We recently gave the administrators of the Pages a written final warning, and they have continued to post content that violates our Community Standards,” the Facebook statement read. “As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have now removed the official Britain First Facebook Page and the Pages of the two leaders with immediate effect. 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.”