Facebook Banned More Far Right Groups and Activists in the U.K.

The move follows the similar punishment of Tommy Robinson in February

An English Defence League protester in Bradford kelvinjay/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

After banning U.K. far right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by Tommy Robinson, from Facebook and Instagram in February, the social network took aim at several like-minded groups and people in that nation earlier this week.

The following British far right groups and people were banned from Facebook’s platform: the British National Party and Nick Griffin; Britain First, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen; English Defence League and Paul Ray; Knights Templar International and Jim Dowson; National Front and Tony Martin; and Jack Renshaw.

Facebook cited its policy on dangerous groups and organizations, saying that the process it uses in determining who fits those criteria include:

  • Encouraging or directly committing acts of violence against people due to their race, ethnicity or national origin.
  • Being a self-described or identifiable follower of a hateful ideology.
  • Using hate speech or slurs in their about sections on Facebook, Instagram or other social platforms.
  • Previously having pages, groups or accounts removed from Facebook or Instagram for violating the company’s hate speech policies.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “Individuals and organizations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook. Under our dangerous individuals and organizations policy, we ban those who proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence. The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on Facebook or Instagram. Posts and other content that expresses praise or support for these figures and groups will also be banned. Our work against organized hate is ongoing, and we will continue to review individuals, organizations, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.