By Muhammad Mussa
LONDON (AA) – Facebook said Wednesday it has banned the accounts of far-right fringe group Britain First and its leaders, arguing that their posts were designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups.
“Content posted on the Britain First Facebook page and the pages of party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen has repeatedly broken our community standards,” Facebook said in a press statement.
The group’s Facebook page had garnered over 2 million likes, with Golding and Fransen also having large followings.
The move comes after Facebook issued a final warning to the group and its leaders which was not heeded.
“We recently gave the administrators of the pages a written final warning, and they have continued to post content that violates our community standards,” the statement said.
“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,” it added.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also commented on Facebook’s latest move, saying that “Britain First is a vile and hate-fueled 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”.
Khan himself was subjected to Islamophobic online harassment, bringing to light the verbal abuse he received on Twitter.
Facebook is the latest social media platform to ban Britain First and its leaders. In December last year, Twitter banned them for violating its community standards.
Earlier this month, Golding and Fransen were arrested and jailed after being found guilty of religiously aggravated assault.