It just got a little bit harder for famous people who famously hate other people to keep in touch with their friends from high school, as Facebook has banned a number of high-profile accounts that it says “promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.” As reported by CNN, the two most prominent banned figures are Alex Jones (chili-chomping, hate-spewing asshole) and Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhn (who, as CNN puts it, is “notorious for using anti-Semitic language). There’s also failed anti-Semitic politician Paul Nehlen and “fringe right-wring media personalities” like Laura Loomer, Paul Joseph Watson, and Milo Yiannopoulos, who at this point has probably been banned from more platforms than pretty much anyone. Speaking of, Jones and his InfoWars site had already been banned from Facebook, but they continued to operate accounts on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and now they’re being banned on that site as well.
The CNN story also notes that Facebook has previously prevented users from “expressing praise or support” for pages that have been banned for promoting violence, but it’s still unclear if it will do that in this case. Either way, Facebook says that it will band groups, pages, and events if it comes out that one of these banned individuals is “participating in the effort,” so some jackass out there might be able to make a page about how much they support Alex Jones, but if Alex Jones says “hey dipshits, join that Facebook group” on his stupid radio show or whatever, then it most likely would get moderated by Facebook.
CNN also points out that some people are questioning why Facebook announced the bans all at once, rather than simply executing then when it became clear that the accounts had violated the site’s terms. The obvious guess is that Facebook wanted to some good press, but to that we say, as always: We don’t like to get played. So, in the interest of cosmic balance, let’s remember the time—not even six months ago—when it came out that Facebook was just gleefully throwing everyone’s data at big companies, whether they claimed to want it or not. Or how about a month before that when Facebook admitted to working with a consulting firm that fed negative stories about Facebook critics to a right-wing news site, including some about George Soros that were accused of being anti-Semitic.