After so many years of pressure to take down the hate which has been flourishing on the platform of Facebook, the company had to do something to curb that. Quite recently the company decided to ban those individuals who were the main culprits behind creating that much hate on social media. Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, and other extremists were banned from Facebook just a few days ago.
Right-wing personalities like Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Paul Neheln and Paul Joseph Watson were also removed from Facebook. The latest bans apply to both Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts as well.
By removing some of the best-known figures of the US political extreme, Facebook has taken away an important virtual megaphone that Facebook has provided over the years. But on the other hand, it does not address what might be done with lesser-known figures and those who stay on the margins of what Facebook’s policies allow.
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Keegan Hanks, the senior research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center stated: “We know that there are still white supremacists and other extremist figures that are actively using both platforms to spread their hatred and bigotry.”
A former Facebook executive and an internet policy expert at Harvard, Dipayan Ghosh said the bag isn’t as big as Facebook is demonstrating. It’s just enforcing its existing policy.
“No matter what happens, there will always be more and more providers of hate speech who’ll try to break into these platforms,” he said. Moreover, he stated that “Will advocates have to push hard just to get a handful of sick individuals off? Well, at this rate it seems likely. Whereas this doesn’t address the problem of what happens at the margins.”
Facebook has previously suspended Jones from its flagship services; this suspension is permanent and includes Instagram as well. Moreover, Twitter has also banned Loomer, Jones, and Yiannopoulos. On the other hand, Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam who is known for making provocative comments that are widely considered as anti-Semitic, still had an account on Thursday. Similarly, Paul Joseph Watson, nearly a million followers on Twitter.
Facebook stated that the newly banned individuals violated the company’s policy. The organization also said that it has always banned those who proclaim a violent or hateful mission and will be looking forward to doing the same in the future.
It also made a clear and strict gesture on those who support these kinds of people and groups.
This whole curbing down environment came into existence while a nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia 2017. That’s the time when Google, PayPal, and Facebook began banishing extremist and groups who can influence society in a bad way.
Still, to this date, it is not clear what lead to Thursday’s announcement. Moreover, in a statement, Facebook said, “the process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led to taking this kind of a step.”