January 9, 2019 1:06 pm
Updated: January 10, 2019 9:42 pm

Facebook begins removing comments from Yellow Vests Canada group following talk of killing Trudeau

WATCH: One of the groups behind the Yellow Vest movement in Canada had its Facebook page taken down, but within a few hours, it was back up. Mercedes Stephenson looks at what happened.

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Facebook began removing content from the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group on Wednesday after Global News reported the page contained numerous comments about killing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The social media company said the action was taken because the content violated its community standards. Facebook said it was continuing to review the group, which has more than 100,000 members.

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Administrators of the page cautioned commenters to watch their language, and one said in a statement to Global News that they “do not tolerate this kind of talk, and it will be dealt with.”

READ MORE: Facebook reviewing comments about killing Trudeau on Canadian ‘yellow vests’ page

But comments wishing for and advocating the death of the prime minister remained on the page, which launched a month ago following the so-called “yellow vests” protests in France.

“Trudeau needs to be shot,” read one of the comments.

“Why hasn’t anyone shot him yet,” another read.

“Shoot the mother already,” read yet another.

The Prime Minister’s Office said it did not comment on matters related to Trudeau’s security.

WATCH: Saskatoon yellow vest rally protests federal carbon tax

“I’m surprised that they’re sounding off like that in a public forum,” said Doug Kirkland, a private security consultant and former Ottawa police officer.

“The RCMP can’t afford to say it’s just nothing. All it takes is one of these to actually act out on what they’re talking about.”

The RCMP said it was aware of the Facebook comments.

“We take all threats made against the prime minister very seriously,” said Staff Sgt. Tania Vaughan, an RCMP spokesperson.

WATCH: France to crack down on ‘yellow vest’ protests

While some users urged members not to use violent rhetoric, the group was rife with comments about the prime minister’s death, raising concerns that an extremist might take action.

A Twitter account called Yellow Vests Canada Exposed has been tracking the comments and tagging the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The Facebook group describes itself as a protest against the carbon tax and politicians who it claims are selling “our country’s sovereignty over to the globalist UN and their tyrannical policies.”

READ MORE: Here’s what to know about ‘yellow vest’ protests happening across Canada

NDP MP Charlie Angus took to Facebook to admonish what he called the “rising tide of extremism that demonizes the Prime Minister and immigrant families.”

“I am fed up with the crazy-assed messages I’m receiving from those who say they will take up arms to defeat ‘Justin’ or who claim he is a ‘Jihadist’ who has robbed their rights,” he wrote.

“This bullsh*t extremist talk has no place in Canada. We are better than this. As citizens we have a duty to call out this extremist rhetoric and restore civic discourse and debate.”

On Twitter, Conservative MP Chris Warkentin also weighed in, writing that “Violence or threats of violence committed in the name of political activism are never acceptable.”

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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