Facebook today banned Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan from its social media platforms, saying his account violated its policies against dangerous individuals and organizations.
Along with Farrakhan, Facebook also banned white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and far-right activists including Alex Jones, Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Infowars.
They are all banned from creating new accounts, although Facebook and Instagram users will be able to create posts praising them and their viewpoints, the company said, according to The Verge.
Farrakhan has been accused of making homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks.
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At the 2018 Nation of Islam annual Saviour’s Day event, Farrakhan railed against Jews for being “the mother and father of apartheid,” said that “the Jews have control over those agencies of government,” and that Jews have chemically induced homosexuality in Black men through marijuana. The Nation continues to produce propaganda blaming Jews for the world’s ills, The Atlantic reported.
Among African Americans, Farrakhan has a reputation as someone who, right or wrong, will not cave to the white establishment.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
“This culturally deaf stance is no less insidious than Trump’s, ‘both sides’ rhetoric,” @MrHBCU tweeted in a reference to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. That’s when the divider-in-chief famously said, “You also had some very fine people on both sides.”
A petition on ActionNetwork.org has collected 35,020 signatures to suspend President Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter. The Action Network is an open platform that empowers groups to organize for progressive causes.
“Trump has launched a despicable and irresponsible attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, sharing a propaganda video questioning the Congresswoman’s loyalty to the United States,” the petition reads. “This is as dangerous as it is unprecedented. Rep. Omar is receiving countless death threats as the president of the United States is inciting violence against a Black Muslim sitting member of congress, putting her life at risk.”