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Britain First Has Just Been Banned By Facebook For Inciting Hatred Against Minorities

The far-right group that was retweeted by Donald Trump had cultivated a huge Facebook following by posting anti-Muslim images and videos.

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Facebook has banned Britain First, the far-right group whose anti-Muslim videos were shared by Donald Trump, for repeatedly posting "content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups".

The social media platform said it had deleted the group's Facebook page, as well as that of its two leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. In November, Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by Fransen on Twitter.

The group had a huge Facebook presence with over 2 million likes, and each of its posts were shared hundreds of thousands of times making it one of the biggest political groups on the platform.

In a statement on Wednesday, Facebook said the group had been kicked off the platform over content which incited "animosity and hatred against minority groups".

"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. "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."

Fransen and Golding were jailed last week after being convicted of racially aggravated harassment.

London mayor Sadiq Khan, a frequent target of Britain First, praised Facebook's action.

“Britain First is a vile and hate-fuelled group whose sole purpose is to sow division," Khan said in a statement. "Their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible, and Facebook’s decision to remove their content is welcome.

“The global tech revolution has brought incredible benefits and social media is enjoyed by billions of people around the world. But big social media companies must wield the power they've amassed responsibly.

Matthew Collins, the head of research at social media advocacy group Hope Not Hate, also praised Facebook's decision.

“Britain First used Facebook as a means to leverage its position and push out some of the most divisive and vile anti-Muslim hatred you could find online," Collins said.

“Ironically, if you wanted to watch an ISIS beheading you didn’t need to go to an Islamic State page, instead Britain First would show it for you."

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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