Facebook is banning some prominent figures it regards as “dangerous individuals” on social media.
According to Facebook, Alex Jones, host of right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars, its UK editor Paul Joseph Watson and ex-Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos of hate speech.
Also, Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has expressed anti-Semitic views, has also been banned from using the social network
The latest ban also applies on Instagram, which Facebook owns.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organisations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” the company said in a statement.
ALSO READ: Nigerian man develops world’s first AI portal that can translate over 2,000 African languages
“The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
The banned group also includes Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist, and Laura Loomer, an anti-Islamic activist with a large social media presence.
Meanwhile some users have criticized Facebook for giving indication of the bans, giving those affected a chance to redirect their followers to other services.
A spokesperson at Facebook said the ban will apply to all types of representation of the individuals on both Facebook and Instagram.
The firm said it would remove pages, groups and accounts set up to represent them, and would not allow the promotion of events when it knows the banned individual is participating.
In an email, Facebook explained the reason for banning the users:
- It said Alex Jones had hosted on his programme Gavin McInnes, leader of the Proud Boys, whose members are known for racist, anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Mr McInnes has been designated a “hate figure” by Facebook
- Facebook said this year Milo Yiannopoulos had publicly praised both Mr McInnes and English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, both banned from the network
- Laura Loomer also appeared with Mr McInnes, and Facebook said she also praised another banned figure, Faith Goldy, a Canadian
- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was banned for making several anti-Semitic remarks earlier this year
Some support facts were culled from BBC