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Facebook bans Proud Boys accounts, groups after New York assault

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gavin mcinnes vice proud boys maga cap
Activist
Gavin McInnes takes part in an Alt Right protest of Muslim
Activist Linda Sarsour on May 25, 2017 in New York
City.

Stephanie Keith/Getty
Images


  • Facebook is banning accounts and groups associated with
    the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group linked to political
    violence in the US.
  • Earlier in October, Proud Boys members were involved in
    a violent attack on protesters in New York, and  five
    members have since been arrested.
  • Groups with tens of thousands of members have been
    removed, and Proud Boys supporters are complaining on
    Twitter.

Facebook is banning accounts and pages associated with the Proud
Boys, a far-right extremist group whose members assaulted
protesters in New York City earlier in October, a Facebook
spokesperson told Business Insider.

On Tuesday, Twitter users began reporting that Facebook was
taking down groups and accounts (both public-facing and personal)
linked to members of the organisation that has been involved in
instances of political violence in the US.

The takedowns come after members of the Proud Boys attacked
protesters following an event in New York on October 12. Members
of the group
reportedly shouted homophobic slurs as they beat and kicked
protesters
, and
at least five Proud Boys have since been arrested
.

Proud Boys was founded by Gavin McInnes, one of the cofounders of
media organization Vice, and describes its members as “Western
Chauvenists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center, an extremism
watchdog organisation,
designates it as a hate group
. One of the Proud Boys’
initiation rites
involves physical violence against left-wing antifascists
.

Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of the 2017 “Unite the
Right” white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville that saw a
protester killed,
was reportedly a member of the Proud Boys.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: ““Our team
continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and
works with partners to better understand hate organizations as
they evolve. We ban these organizations and individuals from our
platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become
aware of it. We will continue to review content, Pages, and
people that violate our policies, take action against hate speech
and hate organizations to help keep our community safe.”

As of writing, some major Proud Boys groups, including one with
20,000 members
, are offline, with Facebook showing users a
“This page isn’t available message” — while others, including the
page of McInnes, are still available. 

Do you work at Facebook? Got a
tip?
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