Facebook and Instagram ban Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, other far-right figures

May 03, 2019, 01:03
Facebook and Instagram ban Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, other far-right figures

Users may still share content relating to these figures on Instagram or Facebook, however, it appears that it is only content directly linked to Infowars that is fully banned. Milo Yiannopoulos managed to eke out one final post on Instagram, captured for posterity by BuzzFeed's Ryan Mac, letting his followers know the ban was impending and to please make sure they were signed up for his email newsletter.

Facebook released a statement saying, "We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology".

These bans aren't likely to halt the spread of the extremists' associated messages.

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When it comes to risky individuals who promote hate speech or violence, Facebook can ban users for actions they take in the real world, or on other services, like Google's YouTube video site.

Jones has hosted Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, whom Facebook designated as a hate figure, on his show, and long pedaled a conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

Those listed above were banned for violating Facebook's policy against "dangerous individuals and organizations". The bans follow a previous announcement that the company wasn't going to allow white nationalism and separatism on its platform anymore.

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Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, said "The reality is, people are getting killed. When you have these massive catalyzing moments that are connected to real-life consequences, it puts pressure on Facebook and others to look in the mirror".

The social media giant also purged accounts belonging to far-right figures Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and failed Senate candidate Paul Nehlen. In Jones's case, he hosted McInnes on his show late last year and promoted him on Instagram earlier this year.

Twitter has previously banned a number of these individuals, including Loomer.

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"We applaud Facebook for taking this positive step toward removing hate actors from the company's platforms", she said. Nehlen has posted many antisemitic comments over the years, including posting pictures of executives from numerous news agencies with Stars of David photoshopped on their faces.