Facebook Removes Proud Boys Accounts


Facebook is banning individual accounts, pages and groups linked to far-right extremists the Proud Boys.

"We're in the process of removing The Proud Boys and Gavin McInnes from Facebook and Instagram in line with our policies against hate organizations and figures", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

That incident was enough for Facebook to now consider the Proud Boys a hate group making the decision to boot the group from its platforms an easy one. They describe themselves as "Western chauvinists", with the Southern Poverty Law Center noting they espouse anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.

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The Proud Boys was founded in 2016 with VICE co-founder McInnes at the helm, and Trump's election that year proved to help increase the group's membership. 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, which has been involved in instances of political violence in the US. The decision follows an incident that took place in NY earlier in October, where Proud Boys members were involved in a violent attack on protesters, and five members were arrested. Members of the group reportedly shouted homophobic slurs as they beat and kicked protesters, and at least five Proud Boys have since been arrested.

Internet giants Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Twitter last month purged accounts of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, founder of the Infowars site. McInnes' page appears to be inactive, but a search for "Proud Boys" on Facebook still unearths a handful of regional pages. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.