After years of wavering about how to handle the extreme voices populating its platform, Facebook on Thursday evicted seven of its most controversial users — many of whom are conservatives — immediately inflaming the debate about the power and accountability of large technology companies.
The social network said it had barred Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist and founder of Infowars, from its platform, along with a handful of other extremists. Louis Farrakhan, the outspoken black nationalist minister who has frequently been criticized for his anti-Semitic remarks, was also banned. The Silicon Valley company said these users were disallowed from using Facebook and Instagram under its policies against “dangerous individuals and organizations.”
Facebook bans ‘dangerous individuals’ cited for hate speech
After years of pressure to crack down on hate and bigotry, Facebook has banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals.”
The company also removed right-wing personalities Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, along with Jones’ site, Infowars, which often posts conspiracy theories. The latest bans apply to both Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts.
Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Other Far-Right Figures
Facebook Inc. said it’s banning a number of controversial far-right figures, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, for violating the social-media company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence.
The company is also blocking religious leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for sharing anti-Semitic views; Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who ran for Congress in 2018; and conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson. All of these individuals and accounts that represent them are also banned from photo-sharing app Instagram.
Trump attacks social media companies after Facebook bans
President Donald Trump criticized social media companies after Facebook banned a number of extremist figures, declaring that he was “monitoring and watching, closely!!”
Trump, who tweeted and re-tweeted complaints Friday and Saturday, said he would “monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms.” He has previously asserted that social media companies exhibit bias against conservatives, something the companies have rejected as untrue.
Trump warns he’ll 'monitor the censorship’ on social media after Facebook banned some far-right leaders
President Trump on Friday threatened to “monitor” social-media sites for their “censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS,” a day after Facebook permanently banned far-right figures and organizations including the conspiracy theory site InfoWars.
Trump’s subtle threat — delivered in a series of tweets — marked the president’s latest broadside against Silicon Valley, which he has repeatedly accused of unfairly targeting and removing conservative users and their views. Facebook, Google and Twitter strongly deny the allegations of political bias.