Facebook and Instagram have finally taken a definitive step against far-right extremism on social media by banning some of its most vocal proponents.
On Thursday, Facebook (which owns Instagram) announced that it has banned far-right fanatics Alex Jones, Milo Yinnopoulos, Laura Loomer, white nationalist Paul Nehlen, and Nation of Islam leader and known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan for being “dangerous”, The Washington Post reported.
The social media company also banned Infowars, along with Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organisations 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.”
Infowars, Jones’ far-right conspiracy machine, will suffer the harshest consequences, The Atlantic reported:
Any account that shares Infowars content will see the content removed; if an account violates terms on multiple occasions it will be banned. Facebook and Instagram will remove any content containing Infowars videos, radio segments, or articles, and Facebook will remove any Groups set up to share Infowars content and Events promoting any of the banned extremist figures, according to a company spokesperson. (Twitter, YouTube, and Apple have also banned Alex Jones and Infowars.)
The individual far-righters, meanwhile, will have their personal accounts banned, along with any accounts in their likeness.
It’s just the latest gut-punch for members of the far right. Nine family members of Sandy Hook victims killed in the 2012 shooting mass shooting are currently suing Jones. (Watch Jones’ recently released court deposition here.)
Nehlen lost the GOP primary for former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat last year.
Loomer was kicked off Twitter and now spends her days handcuffing herself to Twitter’s office doors or camping outside of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s home.
Yinnopoulos last got media attention when Australia announced it was banning him for his offensive comments about the New Zealand mosque shooting. He had recently been using Instagram to sell his possessions, including a portrait of himself.