Facebook bans prominent extremists in crackdown of hate speech

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Facebook on Thursday said it would ban from its main service and Instagram several extremist individuals that the social media giant says promote violence and hate.

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Among those that are permanently banned from the site are: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, conservative radio host and Infowars founder Alex Jones, former Breitbart reporter and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, white nationalist Paul Nehlen, conservative provocateur Laura Loomer and right-wing extremist Paul Nehlen.

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“We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

Facebook not only banned Jones and Infowars, but it also is taking down any Infowars content posted to its platform by any of its users or any groups meant to spread Infowars content. Infowars already has been banned by Apple, YouTube and Twitter.

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Among the criteria Facebook used to evaluate whether to ban those individuals was whether they advocated violence against individuals based on race or ethnicity, follow a hateful ideology or previously had Instagram or Facebook pages removed for content that violated hate speech policies.