Facebook Permanently Bans Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones for 'Promoting Hate'

Several far-right figures have been removed from the the social media platform following increase in anti-Semitism

Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan holding his book "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews," during a speech at Jackson State University, Mississippi, in 2011.

Facebook has permanently banned several far-right figures and their organizations from its social media platforms, the company said Thursday. 

Pressure has mounted on Facebook to more aggressively enforce its hate speech policies amid an increase in anti-Semitism and growth in the number of far-right media personalities.

Among the people banned from both Facebook and Instagram are Infowars' Alex Jones, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and far-right author and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. Jones and InfoWars were banned from Facebook in August but maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

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A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement that the individuals and groups were being banned under its policies against "dangerous individuals and organizations."

FILE PHOTO: Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump July 18, 2016.
\ Lucas Jackson/ REUTERS

She said all representation of the individuals and organizations will be removed.

"We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology," the spokeswoman added.
An "extensive" process was used to evaluate potential violators that "led us to our decision to remove these accounts today," she said.

Facebook in the past has resisted permanent bans, saying objectionable speech is permissible as long as it is not hateful.

The company telegraphed the move last week when it announced a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram, saying it would begin enforcing the ban this week.

"It's clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services," it said.