- Facebook cracks down on controversial accounts
- Facebook has taken action against personalities running controversial accounts
- Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and others permanently banned
Even as anticipation continues to grow surrounding the upcoming Facebook coin, the company continues to make many significant changes both in a bid to repair its public image and also to make the platform more suitable for users. The latest of these took place on May 2, 2019, when the platform announced that several prominent accounts would be banned from the platform permanently.
These accounts were mainly white nationalist accounts and those that perpetuate conspiracy theories, racism another controversy. The platform has been criticized in the past for not taking action against such groups and they seem to have responded to the criticism by taking action.
Who is being banned?
Among the many personalities have been banned from Facebook as well as Instagram is Alex Jones, a popular conspiracy theorist, Milo Yiannopoulos, a popular far-right troll and Laura Loomer, who is an anti-muslim figurehead. Jones had previously been able to operate on Instagram after being banned from Facebook but is now banned there as well.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
Another popular user who was removed was Louis Farrakhan, who is affiliated with the nation of Islam and has been posting anti-semitic material. While this is a step in the right direction, some have pointed out that Facebook’s slowness to act on these groups allowed them to cultivate a large following that will likely continue to follow their work regardless of which platform they decide to use.
Is it Enough?
The ban is part of Facebook’s new policy against dangerous individuals and organizations and Facebook has stated that they will ban accounts that support these individuals as well. Several of the individuals affected by the ban have also been banned from other platforms such as Twitter and now, the eyes of the world are on other prominent platforms to see whether they will be banned from there as well.
Regardless, this move has been met with some praise from those in the media.
“This is a step in the right direction, and it shows exactly why Facebook needs to be thinking about enforcement in a more holistic way,” said Cristina López G, the deputy director for extremism at Media Matters for America. “Facebook can help curb the spread of extremism, hate, and bigotry that flourished on its platforms if it remains open to reforming enforcement measures.”