Social media company Facebook has banned pages belonging to far-right group Britain First, after its leaders were jailed for religously aggravated harassment.
The main ‘Britain First’ Facebook page had a huge following, with over two million likes and posts that were regularly ‘shared’ by users tens of thousands of times.
The anti-Islamic group shared incendiary pictures, stories, and memes, largely relating to Muslims and complaints about a deemed breakdown in British society.
They have been accused of peddling fake news and hate speech, as well as hooking unsuspecting users in with seemingly innocent posts about nostalgia to increase their reach.
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, the leader and deputy leader of the groupm, have also had their pages removed, following their conviction for a campaign of harssment during a rape trial.
The duo had previously been banned from Twitter after content posted by Fransen had been retweeted by US President Donald Trump, sparking outcry at home and abroad.
“Content posted on the Britain First Facebook page and the pages of party leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen has repeatedly broken our Community Standards,” Facebook said in a statement.
“We recently gave the administrators of the pages a written final warning, and they have continued to post content that violates our Community Standards.
“As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have now removed the official Britain First Facebook page and the pages of the two leaders with immediate effect.
“We do not do this lightly, but they have repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service.”
Facebook’s head of policy Simon Milner had told a House of Commons committee that Britain First had until recently been registered with the Electoral Commission and therefore “deemed legitimate” by the authorities, but there were “clearly issues” with the page.