Facebook bans half-dozen Canadian pages under extremism, hate policy

Click to play video: 'Pressure on social media companies to crack down on hate'
Pressure on social media companies to crack down on hate
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A half-dozen Canadian Facebook pages were taken down Monday as the social media company said it was enforcing its policy on extremist content and hate groups.

Faith Goldy, Kevin Goudreau and the Soldiers of Odin (Canadian Infidels) were among those who Facebook said were “banned from having any further presence on Facebook and Instagram,” a spokesperson said.

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Also banned were the Canadian Nationalist Front, Aryan Strikeforce and Wolves of Odin. The company also said it would “remove affiliate representation for these entities, including linked pages and groups.”

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place (on) our services,” the Facebook spokesperson said.

“The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on our services.”

In the wake of the New Zealand mosque attack, Facebook has faced increased pressure to remove pages that promote hate and extremism.

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The company announced in late March that it would ban “praise, support and representation” of white nationalism and separatism.

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“We’ve been calling for Facebook and other social media platforms to take action against white nationalist propagandists,” said Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

“Facebook has been true to its word,” he said. “They’re taking this quite seriously, and it’s very much to their credit.”

The organization had specifically called for bans on most of the groups listed. The anti-hate-network continues to urge Facebook to remove the Yellow Vests Canada page.

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Goldy responded on Twitter by directing followers to her website, writing: “Our enemies are weak & terrified. They forget most revolutions were waged before social media!”

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Goudreau, who has a swastika tattoo on his chest and heads the Canadian Nationalist Front (formerly the White Nationalist Front), called the announcement “fake news because I was never banned!”

Minutes later, his Facebook page went down.

He then blamed a reporter for the loss of his account and said getting banned was “irrelevant” since he had a “backup account,” which he declined to identify.

Facebook said it followed an “extensive process” to determine who to ban, and considered “a number of different signals” such as whether groups have called for violence based on race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

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