Facebook Bans Right-Wing 'Britain First' Page For 'Inciting Animosity and Hatred'

The social media giant has banned the political group and its leaders from the social media platform "with immediate effect".

Right-wing group Britain First has seen its Facebook page and the pages of its two leaders removed by the website's administrators for posting "content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups".

Facebook has banned three pages associated with the far-right group, including those of leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, "with immediate effect", the social-media giant announced.

U.K. leader Theresa May welcomed the news during Prime Minister's Questions: "I am pleased to say the home secretary has been working with these companies to ensure they do more, and do act more clearly, in taking down material that is of an extremist nature."

She added: "I hope other companies will follow."

Facebook said it recently gave the page admins a written final warning, but that "they have continued to post content that violates our community standards".

"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."

London mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the news: "Britain First is a vile and hate-fuelled group whose sole purpose is to sow division. Their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible, and Facebook's decision to remove their content is welcome."

The mayor called on social-media companies to "wield the power they've amassed responsibly".

Khan added: "I trust the decision made by Facebook today reflects a genuine desire to do more to protect people online, and I urge others to follow suit."

Fransen and Golding were suspended from Twitter in December last year amid the social-media platform's crackdown on "hateful conduct".

The infamous group inadvertently made global headlines in November, when U.S. president Donald Trump retweeted three unverified anti-Muslim videos posted by Fransen.

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