Facebook Bans Far Right Group Britain First for Inciting Hate Against Minorities

Far-right group Britain First leader Paul Golding (R) and deputy leader Jayda Fransen arrive at Folkestone magristrates court in Kent on Jan. 29, 2018.Ben Stansall / AFP – Getty Images

Facebook announced on Wednesday it has banned far right political group Britain First for inciting hate against minority groups, four months after it was deregistered as a political party in the United Kingdom.

The move comes three months after Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were suspended from Twitter. The pair are currently serving jail time after being convicted last week of religiously aggravated harassment in the United Kingdom.

“We are an open platform for all ideas, and political speech goes to the heart of free expression,” said Facebook in a statement. “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 has long positioned itself as a global community where all political backgrounds are welcome to share and discuss issues. The company has shown a reluctance to censor anything that could be considered political speech; however, in the case of Britain First, it said “there are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech designed to stir up hatred against groups in our society.”

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SOURCE: NBC News, Alyssa Newcomb