Facebook purges Britain First and jailed founders from site

Facebook purges Britain First and jailed founders from site

Facebook purges Britain First and jailed founders from site

The social media platform said it had deleted the group's Facebook page, as well as that of its two leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen.

In the latest part of its clean-up exercise, Facebook has removed pages of the far-right, anti-Islamic group Britain First.

Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, the leader and deputy leader of the groupm, have also had their pages removed, following their conviction for a campaign of harssment during a rape trial.

The decision to ban Britain First is a major move for Facebook, which has struggled to determine how to enforce its rules against hate speech and has been repeatedly criticized for how it classifies hate speech.

Facebook said it recently gave the page admins a written final warning, but added "they have continued to post content that violates our community standards".

It also deleted the Facebook pages for party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, who notoriously posted an anti-Muslim video on Twitter past year, which US President Donald Trump later retweeted.

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Facebook did not cite specific posts made on the group's page to provoke the ban, but the BBC reports that the offending posts included videos that stoked hatred against Muslims and a caption that compared Muslims to animals.

The group had a huge Facebook presence with over 2 million likes, and each of its posts were shared hundreds of thousands of times making it one of the biggest political groups on the platform. "(But) there are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech created to stir up hatred against groups in our society", it added.

Both Golding and Fransen were recently found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment after they branded Muslims as paedophiles and rapists and jailed for 18 weeks and 36 weeks respectively.

"I hope other companies will follow", she told British lawmakers.

Facebook's announcement was welcomed by London mayor Sadiq Khan. The party has a long history of posting bigoted sentiments without a robust reaction from Facebook, which suggests the social network is taking calls to clamp down on hate speech more seriously than in the past. Other content was deemed to have been posted to incite hatred toward Muslims.

The social media platform also began un-verifying accounts linked to far-right groups by removing official blue ticks.

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