Facebook has banned multiple pages tied to Britain First
It explanation for the move refers to "hate speech"
Facebook has banned three pages tied to Britain First and its leaders, citing rules over the incitement of hatred.
The far-right group has been accused of hate speech in the past, with its leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment earlier this month.
At the time of their suspension, the main Britain First account and those of its leaders had more than two million Facebook likes, but the social network has banned them following a final written warning.
“We are an open platform for all ideas and political speech goes to the heart of free expression. But political views can and should be expressed without hate,” Facebook explained in a statement entitled ‘Taking Action Against Britain First’
“We have Community Standards that clearly state [hate] speech is not acceptable on Facebook and, when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can.
“Political parties, like individuals and all other organisations on Facebook, must abide by these standards and where a Page or person repeatedly breaks our Community Standards we remove them.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan backed the decision, describing Britain First as “a vile and hate-fuelled group whose sole purpose is to sow division”.
Fransen has been sentenced to 36 months in prison, and Golding to 18 months, with the pair receiving their sentences at Folkestone Crown Court.
Judge Justin Barron commented that their actions – during a gang-rape trial – amounted to “a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants.”
“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,” Facebook added.