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.
>> The New York Times fuels more anti-Semitism than Trump and Republicans? That's bullshit | Opinion ■ It's the deadliest year ever to be Jewish in America: What Trump must do to end the terror | Opinion
A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement that the individuals and groups were being banned under its policies against "dangerous individuals and organizations."
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.
- From new technology to resurgent nationalism: The future of Holocaust studies
- The left’s growing discomfort with Jewish ‘privilege’
- Anti-Semitic incidents up by 82 percent in N.Y.C., police reports
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.