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Far-right Proud Boys and their Canadian founder Gavin McInnes booted off Facebook and Instagram

Click to play video: 'Proud Boys: A look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax' Proud Boys: A look at the group who protested an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax
The interruption of an Indigenous protest by Canadian Armed Forces members representing the "Proud Boys" organization has many wondering who the "Proud Boys" are and what their presence means in Canada. Dave Squires has more on that story – Jul 6, 2017

The far-right Proud Boys and their founder, Gavin McInnes, have been banned from Facebook and Instagram because of policies against hate groups, the company announced.

McInnes criticized the ban in an email Wednesday, saying it was a way to drum up “hysteria” prior to the midterm elections next week.

WATCH: Scuffle breaks out after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York City

Click to play video: 'Scuffle breaks out after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York City' Scuffle breaks out after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York City
Scuffle breaks out after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York City – Oct 13, 2018

“The left knows they are going to lose this election so they are ramping up the hysteria with fake news and censorship in a last ditch effort to win,” he said.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the all-male Proud Boys a hate group, but the Proud Boys reject the label and describe themselves as “Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

Members of the group brawled with anti-fascist protesters following a speech by McInnes at a Manhattan Republican club on Oct. 12, resulting in arrests of both Proud Boys’ members and anti-fascists.

READ MORE: Three arrested in violent clashes after far-right Proud Boys speech in New York City

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, criticized the statewide Republican Party for inviting McInnes.

A spokeswoman for Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said in a statement, “Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve.”

The loss of the platforms will likely hurt the Proud Boys’ ability to recruit. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in August that regional Proud Boys chapters were vetting new members through private Facebook chatrooms.

When asked Wednesday if the social media platforms have been a major recruiting tool, McInnes said, “I guess.”

McInnes, 48, was a co-founder of Vice Media but left the company in 2008. He now hosts a podcast called “Get Off My Lawn.”

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