Facebook just banned the fascistic fight club ‘Proud Boys’ and their leader – and other groups are on the block
Facebook is banning accounts and pages associated with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group whose members assaulted protesters in New York City earlier in October.
On Tuesday, Twitter users began reporting that Facebook was taking down groups and accounts (both public-facing and personal) linked to members of the organisation, which has been involved in instances of political violence in the US.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the company is banning The Proud Boys and founder Gavin McInnes from both Facebook and Instagram, pointing to Facebook’s rules against hate groups.
The takedowns come after members of the Proud Boys allegedly attacked protesters following an event in New York on October 12. Members of the group reportedly shouted homophobic slurs as they beat and kicked protesters, and at least five Proud Boys have since been arrested.
The SPLC has previously revealed how the organisation used Facebook as a recruitment tool, setting up private groups for “vetting” prospective members. “While Twitter has received significant criticism for verifying Proud Boys accounts, it’s Facebook that appears to provide the recruitment machinery for the group,” it wrote.
Facebook is not alone in banning McInness’s violent thugs from a social media platform. Daily Beast:
Facebook and Instagram banned Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Facebook groups affiliated with his far-right men’s club on Tuesday, a day after The Daily Beast reported that McInnes was using both platforms to post racist images and promote violence against liberals.
The Proud Boys, a street-fighting club of self-described “Western chauvinists,” have come under increasing scrutinizing from both law enforcement and social media platforms after members of the group brawled with left-wing “antifascist” protesters on October 12. The fight, in which some Proud Boys yelled homophobic slurs, has resulted in criminal charges against nine Proud Boys and three “antifa” activists.