Facebook bans Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones for hate speech

News
Facebook ban_1556831800597.jpg.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook has banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban against hate and violence.

The company said Thursday that it has also banned right-wing leaders Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, along with Jones’ site, Infowars. The latest bans apply to both Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts.

Facebook previously suspended Jones from its flagship service temporarily; this suspension is permanent and includes Instagram.

Facebook says the newly banned accounts violated its policy against dangerous individuals and organizations. The company says it has “always banned” people or groups that proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence, regardless of political ideology.

For years, social media companies have been under pressure from civil rights groups to clamp down on hate speech on their services. Following the deadly white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, South Carolina, in 2017, Google, Facebook and PayPal began banishing extremist groups and individuals who identified as or supported white supremacists.

A year later, widespread bans of Jones and Infowars reflected a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech. But Facebook instituted only a 30-day suspension (though Twitter banned him permanently).

It is not clear what events led to Thursday’s announcement. In a statement, Facebook merely said, “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”

Facebook has been under heavy pressure to rid its service of hate and extremist content. Last month, it extended its ban on hate speech to prohibit the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism. It had previously allowed such material even though it has long banned white supremacists.

Asked to comment on the bans, Yiannopoulos emailed only “You’re next.”

Jones reacted angrily Thursday during a live stream of his show on his Infowars website.

“They didn’t just ban me. They just defamed us. Why did Zuckerberg even do this?” Jones said, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Jones called himself a victim of “racketeering” by “cartels.”

“There’s a new world now, man, where they’re banning everybody and then they tell Congress nobody is getting banned,” he said.

Watson, meanwhile, tweeted that he was not given a reason and that he “broke none of their rules.”

“Hopefully, other prominent conservatives will speak out about me being banned, knowing that they are next if we don’t pressure the Trump administration to take action,” he wrote.

Farrakhan, Nehlen and Loomer did not immediately return messages for comment.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

28°F Clear Feels like 22°
Wind
6 mph N
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Partly cloudy skies. Low 24F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Crowley

28°F Clear Feels like 20°
Wind
7 mph NNE
Humidity
75%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Generally clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Opelousas

26°F Clear Feels like 20°
Wind
5 mph N
Humidity
79%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low 23F. Winds light and variable.
24°F Partly cloudy. Low 23F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Breaux Bridge

27°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
9 mph NNE
Humidity
81%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
24°F Clear skies. Low 24F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
12 mph NNE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

New Iberia

29°F Clear Feels like 18°
Wind
14 mph NNE
Humidity
78%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
26°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
7 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full

Local News

More Local

Sidebar

Trending Stories