It’s near-impossible to fight the illogical far-right with logic itself. As Paste’s Jacob Weindling argues, “Liberalism simply cannot reason away Trumpism—2016 proved that’s not how this stuff works. We must remove its power by limiting its exposure—treat it like a virus outbreak and try to contain it.”
The best way to do so is deplatforming, or having figures who inflame hate-speech and disseminate violent ideology removed from social media platforms. It worked with Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter, and now Facebook is imposing a permanent ban on influential far-right figures, including Alex Jones (previously banned from Facebook, but not Instagram), Jones’ Infowars, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joseph Watson.
Watson responded to his ban on Twitter, because Jack Dorsey is still okay letting him spew hate speech to his near-million followers.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” Facebook said of its decision, according to THR.
The statement continued, “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
That process includes considering whether the account has had pages removed from Facebook or Instagram, or if the individual commits hate crimes, employs hate speech and openly subscribes to hateful ideology. The social network prevents current users from supporting the individual on the platform once they’ve been removed for these reasons, a crucial step that exposes how Twitter has failed on the deplatforming front.
In addition to the people listed above, Facebook and Instagram are “taking action against Louis Farrakhan and Paul Nehlen,” as per THR. Both men have been accused of anti-Semitism.