Facebook is banning accounts linked to the far-right extremist group “Proud Boys” after their members were arrested in an attack against protesters in New York City last month.
Facebook has banned the account of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Business Insider reports that a number of other groups and accounts linked to members were banned as well.
A Facebook representative confirmed that the network was banning members from both Facebook and Instagram. The rep said that the group violated the social network giant's rules against organized hate groups.
The move comes after members of the Proud Boys beat protesters while shouting homophobic slurs after an event in October. At least five members of the group were arrested.
“Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We ban these organizations and individuals from our platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become aware of it.”
Anti-hate groups cheer: The Southern Poverty Law Center, which labeled the Proud Boys a hate group, previously revealed that the group used Facebook for “vetting” new members.
"While Twitter has received significant criticism for verifying Proud Boys accounts, it's Facebook that appears to provide the recruitment machinery for the group," the SPLC reported.
McInnes calls ban a midterm stunt: The Proud Boys founder said the ban was a “fake news” plot to help Democrats in the elections.
"The left knows they are going to lose this election so they are ramping up the hysteria with fake news and censorship in a last ditch effort to win," he told Fox News.