Amid criticisms that Facebook has failed to regulate the dissemination of extremist content and misinformation on their platforms, the company announced Thursday that they have banned far-right extremists Alex Jones, Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and InfoWars.
Facebook now classifies those listed above as "dangerous," resulting in a ban from all Facebook platforms. The company also barred Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has often used his online presence to spew anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Alex Jones and his media outlet InfoWars have been banned from Facebook since August 2018, for bullying and hate speech, however the far-right figurehead has maintained a wide-reaching Instagram following.
"We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN. "The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today."
Of all those removed from Facebook on Thursday, the strictest ban was applied to InfoWars. The company has specified that anyone who shares InfoWars content will have it removed, except if the post is explicitly denouncing the outlet. The infamous conspiracy theorist has garnered national attention for his stance on the Sandy Hook massacre, which he outlandishly refers to as a government plot to confiscate American's firearms. His supporters have gone on to harass families of the victims killed in the school shooting.
Both Nehlen, a white supremacist, and Yiannopoulos, a far-right extremist, had been banned by Twitter prior to their removal from Facebook platforms. Loomer, another far-right provocateur, has used her online presence to disseminate xenophobic commentary.
Facebook's decision to ban the group of extremists arrives months after a gunman livestreamed an attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Following the incident, Facebook announced it would be banning white nationalist content from its platform, per BuzzFeed.