Facebook on Thursday announced plans to purge its platform of some of its most controversial users, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, for violating the site’s rules against hate speech.
Farrakhan, is among the seven “dangerous” voices — many of them conservative — banned by the social media giant in its latest, and broadest, crackdown on the “dangerous individuals [and] organizations” populating its platform. Many people in the Black community were caught off guard by the inclusion of Farrakhan based on the fact that most of the information he presents is rooted in love and understanding.
Right-wing conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones has been evicted from the social site, along with Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist anti-Semite who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2018, and ex-Breitbart editor and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who was kicked off Twitter after leading a harassment campaign against Black comedienne Leslie Jones in 2016.
Other people banned on Thursday included Paul Joseph Watson, an InfoWars contributor, and Laura Loomer, a right-wing personality and conspiracy theorist.
In a statement, Facebook said these figures were no longer permitted to use its platforms, including Instagram, under its policies combating hate speech and extremist views.
“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. “The process [for] evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
Groups, pages, and accounts created to support the banned individuals will also be removed, the spokesperson said.