Facebook said Thursday that it has permanently banned several far-right and anti-Semitic figures and organizations, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer, for being "dangerous," a sign that the social network is more aggressively enforcing its hate-speech policies at a moment when bigoted violence is on the rise around the world.
Facebook said it was going to remove the accounts, fan pages, and groups affiliated with these individuals on both Facebook and its sister site Instagram after it reevaluated the content that they had posted previously, or had examined their activities outside of Facebook, the company said. The removal also pertains to at least one of the organizations run by these people, Jones' Infowars.
"We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive, and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today," Facebook said in a statement.
The social network - which for years has resisted taking a more aggressive stance on extremism - is under massive pressure globally to curtail the ways in which its platform is used by hateful groups and individuals, most recently after massacres in Sri Lanka and New Zealand where the perpetrators used social media to spread their hateful messages.