Far Right Banned by Facebook

Pete Burrett

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Facebook has imposed a ban on a dozen far-right individuals and organisations that it says "spread hate".

The ban includes the British National Party and Nick Griffin, the English Defence League and the National Front.

The list also includes Britain First, which was already banned, but this latest action will prohibit support for it on any of the US firm's services.

It said it had taken the action because those involved had proclaimed a "violent or hateful mission".

"Individuals and organisations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook," the social network added in a statement.
 

Gary Baldi

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Banning the Far Right is a great start to cleaing up the platform, they need to get on with the Far Left as well............

Otherwise it will only justify the victim complex and conspiracies that I assume are there in the Far Right.
 

Peterdev

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I’m glad I no longer see the extreme right ‘views’ perpetrated on FB. I have blocked all the comments that used to come through and the people pushing them through.
To be honest I don’t see too many from the far left
 

dannyc

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Why not just say ban all extremism instead of them bringing colour into it there basicly saying only white people are racist in the world.
 

tonyw

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I imagine - no knowledge here - that most political extremism is perpetuated on the dark web, so this is a good start but some of our social media freedoms might have to be sacrificed to get the whole thing under control. 30 years ago, extremists met in the secretive back rooms of obscure pubs, but times have changed.
OK, I'll have a go at making the counter-argument.

The goal here is to reduce the amount of 'hate speech' populating these social media platforms. But who's going to determine what is hate speech and what is reasonable freedom of expression? Who is going to exert the control you describe?

The government? That's a bit more totalitarian than I'm comfortable with. I mean we complain about the way that China manipulates social media for its citizens, do we really want to respond by moving down the same path ourselves?
Facebook themselves? That's much more worrying, a massive global company with the power to control the political conversation without being subject to the same controls and liabilities that regular media outlets face.

Now I disagree with the BNP on virtually every single issue you could wish to name. I think they're ignorant, small-minded, racist morons.
But I still believe in their right to free speech and expression - and I find the prospect of Facebook censoring them really troubling.
 

dannyc

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reminds me abit of this porn id thing there bringing in in the summer is that actually happening ?
 

tonyw

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Take your point Tony. The upper echelons of FaceBook are of a liberal disposition, an observation that will not escape the notice of said right wing organisations, and will no doubt engender a siege mentality which might strengthen their support.

That said, it shouldn't be too difficult to compile a list of subjects that amount to 'hate speech'. I mean, any detrimental comments based on race, religion, gender, colour or sexual orientation are already covered by law.

UKIP's Batten recently said he 'wouldn't even rape' MP Jess Phillips, laughing it off as 'satire' to the media and, predictably, referring to 'political correctness'.

These hate pedlars are easy to spot and, I would suggest, it shouldn't be too difficult to rein them in. But here is the crux of the issue: should the BNP be banned in its entirety because elements of it's communications are racist etc, or should it be allowed to continue, but monitored and punished for any aberrations? The question is who decides what is unacceptable, and would comments like Batten's, for example, fall into that category.

'Freedom of speech' is often used as an excuse for foul behaviour, but there should surely be limits to that freedom, beyond the existing laws? Implementation could be a can of worms, admittedly.
Actually, I believe that is fundamentally untrue.

Labour's Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006 explicitly states:

Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.

Whilst I believe the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008 states:

In the circumstances of hatred based on religious belief or on sexual orientation, the relevant act (namely, words, behaviour, written material, or recordings, or programme) must be threatening and not just abusive or insulting


In other words, the law explicitly protects our right to make detrimental comments and ridicule people on the basis of their religion and sexual orientation (and a good thing too, because the Book of Mormon was great).

Of course the challenge is that the word 'threatening' becomes open to interpretation. By law, I'm allowed to offend and abuse you, but I'm not allowed to threaten you. Who decides where that line is? I certainly don't have the answers, but I'm damn sure the answer shouldn't be Facebook.
 

werthersoriginal

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People should never be banned for their beliefs but for their words and actions. These groups were banned as being ‘dangerous’ , for spreading hate and encouraging violence. I’ve not seen so much of that from the left, but if these climate change people started encouraging their followers to attack workers at oil companies, for example, they should be banned too
 

Peterdev

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The thing I loathe about Britain First is their ability to select a popular gripe with people and use a slogan like, is it right pensioners save all their lives to live in poverty yet newcomers who we have no space for get help provided without asking. Or soldiers go hungry whilst immigrants don’t.
Easy to make one line statements in an effort to get the popular vote.
And playing on words as they do is not only blatantly dishonest but also infammatory
 

Mellowyellow

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Will the hate filled and bile spewing David Lammy receive a similar Facebook ban :unsure: ?

He clearly agrees with free speech, as long as everyone agrees with what he says. His comments were vile, and completely misplaced, a lot like the man himself.
He will of course get away with it, being a darling of the left.
 

Gary Baldi

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I imagine - no knowledge here - that most political extremism is perpetuated on the dark web, so this is a good start but some of our social media freedoms might have to be sacrificed to get the whole thing under control. 30 years ago, extremists met in the secretive back rooms of obscure pubs, but times have changed.
You would be surprised at what is permissible on social media platforms and who advises social media platforms on what is acceptable. There is no need for the dark web. Some of the abuse and targeting from people on the left is as shocking as idiocy from the right, but it really depends on what your point of view is. Look at what Peter Fonda said about Baron Trump and he's still on Twitter like nothing happened.

The hard part platforms have, as has been said, is who decides on who is hateful and who is not. If those people have a small world view, they filter in what they think is permissible, not what is necessarily right for society and where vocal mobs accumulate, they tend to have more power than the majority. Who watches the watchers? And who is accountable?

In part it's why Facebook are at a place where they want Govt oversight. It makes their lives easier and simpler to blame someone else for a ban of an extremist than doing it themselves.
 

cassox

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UKIP's Batten recently said he 'wouldn't even rape' MP Jess Phillips, laughing it off as 'satire' to the media and, predictably, referring to 'political correctness'.
Batten didnt say that,get your facts right before you start your illinformed handwringing.........
 

chuckbert

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The thing I loathe about Britain First is their ability to select a popular gripe with people and use a slogan like, is it right pensioners save all their lives to live in poverty yet newcomers who we have no space for get help provided without asking. Or soldiers go hungry whilst immigrants don’t.
Easy to make one line statements in an effort to get the popular vote.
And playing on words as they do is not only blatantly dishonest but also infammatory
I agree here - it is not the things I disagree with that I object to seeing, but the disingenuous, deceitful and outright lies. This is where Britain First deserve to be banned. I don’t usually see left wing equivalents, but there are some hippy-drippy posts which do the same thing (eg antivax or pushing dodgy supplements or health advice), reeling people in with some superficial emotional appeal to their children and the following up with the real unpleasant irrational agenda.
 
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