Facebook has reportedly banned conservative commentator and CRTV host Gavin McInnes along with accounts linked to McInnes’ fraternal organization, the Proud Boys.
Business Insider reports that Facebook has banned Gavin McInnes, along with certain accounts linked to the Proud Boys, the organization founded by McInnes. On Tuesday, social media users began reporting that accounts linked to members of the group were being removed from Facebook, now the company has confirmed that they are banning accounts linked to the Proud Boys and Gavin McInnes from Facebook and Instagram, citing the platform’s rules against hate groups as its reason for doing so.
Facebook reportedly told Business Insider:”“Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve. We ban these organizations and individuals from our platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become aware of it. We will continue to review content, Pages, and people that violate our policies, take action against hate speech and hate organizations to help keep our community safe.”
Business Insider’s Rob Price notes that many Proud Boys pages and groups — one featuring 20,000 members — have since been deleted:
Price also notes that this could cause issues for the Proud Boys, who regularly use Facebook to recruit new members:
Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes was banned from Twitter in August, Breitbart News reporter Allum Bokhari wrote at the time:
A Twitter spokewoman said that the accounts had been banned for violating Twitter’s policies on “violent extremist groups.” Yet both the Proud Boys and McInnes advocate mainstream conservative and libertarian positions.
The left-leaning magazine Variety drew a link between the bans and the upcoming Unite The Right 2 rally in Washington D.C., organized by alt-right activists. Yet both McInnes and the Proud Boys have disavowed the alt-right.
The ban came despite Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s recent assurance, made on Sean Hannity’s radio show, that he hoped to deal with terms of service violations “with warnings, with notices, with a temporary lock of the account” ahead of permanent bans.
Earlier this month, the Proud Boys were involved in altercations with members of Antifa throughout New York. Breitbart News reporter Penny Starr wrote: “New York City Police have released a surveillance video just days after the Metropolitan Republican Club was vandalized and an Antifa-instigated brawl took place over the impending appearance of CRTV host and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.”
Police also announced they are searching for a dozen people involved in the ruckus, according to NY1.com:
Police officials said nine of the people they were searching for are members of the Proud Boys, and three are from Antifa, a far-left anti-fascist group.
According to the police department, three Antifa members were arrested for a separate incident on 84th Street, where a Proud Boys member’s backpack was stolen.
The NYPD is asking anyone with information on the fights to come forward and said it was investigating if the attacks were hate crimes.
A video of a fight between members of both groups can be seen below: