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Facebook Bans Sad Little Man Club The Proud Boys and Founder Gavin McInnes

Don't worry boys, there's always 4chan.

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Facebook has made decisive steps toward curbing hate speech on their site by banning men’s alt-right group the Proud Boys and their founder, Gavin McInnes from Facebook and Instagram. A Facebook spokesperson gave a statement to Buzzfeed News, saying:

“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.”

Facebook has removed several Proud Boys pages, with promises to remove more as they find them. This comes after a violent street fight in New York City, where members physically attacked protesters and used a variety of homophobic slurs. Several members were arrested and charged with assault. McInnes himself was in the fight, brandishing a plastic sword because his mommy doesn’t trust him with sharp objects.

Facebook’s ban follows a similar move by Twitter, which suspended several Proud Boy groups in August ahead of the Unite the Right rally in Washington, DC that was held on the anniversary of Charlottesville. Only a handful of alt-right fanboys showed up, but their already tiny numbers were dwarfed by the thousands of counter-protesters who took to the streets in response.

The ban not only protects users from the virulent hate speech of these white supremacist haircuts, but it also cuts off their ability to recruit new members, many of whom are radicalized through social media platforms. Before the ban, the hate group had more than 35 regional and city and state subgroups which organizers used as recruitment tools, as well as several groups designed to vet potential members.

It’s no coincidence that this cross-platform banning is happening after last week’s multiple hate crimes. Mail bomb suspect, Cesar Sayoc, and Pittsburgh Tree of Life Temple shooting suspect Robert Bowers were both found to be active on social media, where they spewed virulent messages of white nationalism and hate. These hate groups (while they have always existed) have been empowered by Trump’s election, which has led to a rise in hate crimes across the country.

It may be long overdue, but we’re glad that social media companies are finally (sort of) taking a stand against hateful rhetoric. There’s still more work to be done until we can shove these pathetic basement dwellers back under the rocks they crawled out of.

(via Buzzfeed, image: screengrab)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.