Facebook has banned a number of far-right commentators, including Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, as well as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, on Thursday for violating its policies on “dangerous individuals and organizations.”
The company policy says that it “does not allow any organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence” to have Facebook accounts. Promoting terrorism, “organized hate,” and murder are among the topics banned under the company’s wide-ranging stipulations. Facebook also banned InfoWars commentator Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Paul Nehlen — as well as the InfoWars account — as part of its Thursday removals.
Facebook did not share specific infractions that led to the bans. The company reexamined the individuals, looking at their accounts and behavior away from the platform before making its decision, the company said.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” Facebook said in a statement. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
When reached for comment, Yiannopoulos said “you’re next,” and declined to elaborate on the record.
Loomer, in a statement to TheWrap, said:
“What’s the point of life anymore? I live in a digital gulag. Yesterday I wrote an article about how I was living in a digital gulag on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And today, even though I am a Zionist and have dedicated my life to combatting Jew hatred, these Nazis in Silicon Valley banned me during Yom Hashoah with vile Jew haters like Louis Farrakhan and Paul Nehlen. It’s disgusting. But I don’t expect anything less from these people who want me dead. They want to kill me, but I’d rather kill myself than to let them take the victory lap.”
The bans will be applied to Facebook-owned Instagram as well. Any groups, pages or accounts affiliated with the banned members will be purged by Facebook.
Moving forward, Facebook users that share InfoWars content will see the content removed, according to The Atlantic. Users who share InfoWars content on multiple occasions will be banned as well. Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the ban against praising or sharing the work of the banned accounts.
Facebook first took action against Jones last summer, when it suspended the digital shock jock for 30 days after he violated the company’s hate speech policies. Jones was soon removed from nearly every major tech platform, with Twitter removing him in September for “abusive behavior.” Jones, best known for peddling conspiracy theories, including saying the Sandy Hook school shooting was a “hoax,” took a massive traffic hit to his InfoWars website as a result of his bans.
The social network later took action against Farrakhan in October, removing a video posted to his account where he compared Jews to termites.