Facebook announced this afternoon that it has designated some high-profile people, including Nation of Islam leader #LouisFarrakhan, and right-wing political commentator #MiloYiannopoulos as “dangerous”. They say that they will be removing them from their platforms.
Facebook officials say Farrakhan is being removed for his anti-semetic language. Facebook is also getting rid of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who headed the controversial media outlet #InfoWars.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement provided to @CNNBusiness. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
Jones and InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook back in August 2018, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. On Thursday, Jones and InfoWars will be banned from Instagram as well.
Other people banned Thursday include right-wing media personalities Laura Loomer, and Paul Joseph Watson. Also included is Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, according to CNN.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business the company goes through a lengthy process and takes into consideration a number of factors before determining an individual or account to be “dangerous.”
Such factors include whether the person or organization has ever called for violence against individuals based on race, ethnicity, or national origin; whether the person has been identified with a hateful ideology; whether they use hate speech or slurs in their about section on their social media profiles; and whether they have had pages or groups removed from Facebook for violating hate speech rules, according to the spokesperson.
In some cases, when Facebook bans an individual or organization, it also restricts others from expressing praise or support for them on its platforms, according to the spokesperson. The spokesperson also added that the company continues to view such action as the correct approach.
That policy may not apply to any or all of the people banned Thursday, however.
The spokesperson added that Facebook will remove groups, pages, and accounts created to represent the banned people when it knows the individual is participating in the effort.
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