London: Facebook has removed the official page of far-right group Britain First, which “repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups”, the media reported on Wednesday.
The official Britain First Facebook page has been taken down, as have the official (but not personal) pages for the group’s leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen, the Verge reported on Wednesday.
In a blog post, Facebook said it had warned the group about its posts to no effect, and that the ban was not a decision it took “lightly”.
“We are an open platform for all ideas and political speech goes to the heart of free expression. (But) there are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech designed to stir up hatred against groups in our society,” it added.
With only a few thousand members and repeated failures to elect government candidates, Britain First has no direct political influence in the United Kingdom.
The group’s main Facebook page had more than two million likes, and videos it shared on Twitter were notably retweeted by US President Donald Trump last November.
Its main focus is Islamophobia, with the group advocating for “invasions” of British mosques and filming visits to supposed “no go” areas in towns and cities where they harangue locals and hand out leaflets, the report said.
Facebook has been struggling for years now with how to deal with extremist content on its platform, but rarely intervenes in such a direct manner, it added.