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Theresa May welcomes Facebook decision to remove Britain First page

Theresa May welcomes Facebook decision to remove Britain First page Theresa May welcomes Facebook decision to remove Britain First page
Kristine Garrett | 15 March, 2018, 00:32

Facebook says the decision to remove the pages was made after Britain First had ignored a final warning about the posting of material that broke its community standards.

"There are times. when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech created to stir up hatred against groups in our society", Facebook said in a statement.

"Content posted on the Britain First Facebook page and the pages of party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen has repeatedly broken our community standards", Facebook divulged in a blog post. Facebook noted that the content violated its Community Standards, and the Page administrators were warned multiplied times previously about their posts.

The official Britain First Facebook page has been taken down, as have the official (but not personal) pages for the group's leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen, the Verge reported on Wednesday.

Facebook emphasised that they had not taken this decision lightly, and defended their position, stating: "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".

In a statement on Wednesday, Facebook said the group had been kicked off the platform because over content which incited "animosity and hatred against minority groups".

The ban means their group will not be permitted to set up an official Facebook page in the future. But political views can and should be expressed without hate.

"People can express robust and controversial opinions without needing to denigrate others on the basis of who they are", Facebook's statement read.

The Facebook page of Britain First has generated more than 2 million likes, often gaining traction off of videos and content that critics deemed Islamophobic, such as a mislabeled video purporting to show a Muslim migrant assaulting a Dutch boy. As such, the Britain First group had clearly violated the established norms with its anti-Islam posts. Both the group and individual members are also barred from creating new Facebook pages. In December a year ago, Twitter banned them for violating its community standards.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed the decision.

"The global tech revolution has brought incredible benefits and social media is enjoyed by billions of people around the world".

Political leaders and big advertisers are increasing the pressure on social media companies do more to remove objectionable and illegal material from their platforms.

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