Facebook bans far-right British group retweeted by Trump

Facebook bans far-right British group retweeted by Trump

Facebook has banned from its platform the pages of far-right British group Britain First and its two leaders, one of whom President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE retweeted last year.

Facebook said in a statement that content posted by the Britain First Facebook page and the pages of its party leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, have "repeatedly broken our Community Standards."

The social media giant said it recently gave the page's administrators a written final warning, but they 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," the statement said.

"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."

Trump sparked controversy last year after he retweeted unverified videos that purported to show Muslims engaging in acts of violence, which were shared by Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First.

The tweets sparked swift backlash from lawmakers in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, including British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"This causes anxiety to law abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudice rhetoric of the far-right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents; decency, tolerance and respect. It is wrong for the president to have done this," May said of the tweets.

The White House said at the time that Trump did not know Fransen was a leader of the ultranationalist group when he shared her anti-Muslim videos on Twitter.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump, saying he had "elevated" the conversation around terrorism.

“The president feels strongly about talking about and bringing up as an issue every day,” Sanders said in November. “We're looking for the best ways to protect Americans.”

In January, Trump told Piers Morgan that he is willing to apologize for retweeting videos, but stopped short of actually apologizing.

"Here's what's fair. If you're telling me these are horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize, if you'd like me to do that. I know nothing about them," Trump told Morgan on ITV's "Good Morning Britain." 

Twitter suspended Fransen in December, along with other accounts connected to Britain First.

Earlier this year, Fransen was found guilty on three counts of religiously aggravated harassment.