Facebook bans far-right Britain First group and its leaders

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Facebook decided that content posted to its page by Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen has repeatedly broken those rules, and when that content continued to be posted after a final warning the social network took action.

But in its post, Facebook made it clear that there was a fine line between expressing controversial political views and expressing hate.

In the latest part of its clean-up exercise, Facebook has removed pages of the far-right, anti-Islamic group Britain First.

Other content violations included an image with a caption comparing Muslim immigrants with animals, and multiple videos posted deliberately to incite hateful comments against Muslims.

Twitter banned the leaders last December, months prior to Facebook's crackdown.

We have Community Standards that clearly state this sort of speech is not acceptable on Facebook and, when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can.

"They have repeatedly posted content created to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service", Facebook said.

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The group, which had two million followers on its Facebook page, will not be allowed to make another page.

President Trump caused controversy past year when her retweeted three videos tweeted by Jayda Fransen that appeared to have an Islamophobic message.

Fransen and Golding are both now serving jail time for religiously-aggravated harassment in Kent.

'We do not do this lightly, but they have repeatedly posted content created to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service'. Both the group and individual members are also barred from creating new Facebook pages.

On Monday, prior to Facebook's decision on Britain First, London Mayor Sadiq Khan - who has been the target of anti-Muslim sentiment from the far right - called on companies like Facebook and Twitter to take "greater responsibility" to stop the spread of hate speech, extremism and disinformation online.

Britain First had almost twice as many Facebook likes as the United Kingdom's mainstream Labour Party, which has only one million followers.

Trump sparked controversy a year ago after he retweeted unverified videos that purported to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, which were shared by Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First.