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Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Farrakhan, Others

Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Farrakhan, Others

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) said Thursday it has banned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan and others from Facebook and Instagram for violating the company’s policies against using the sites to spread hate and violence.

Among the other people Facebook said it would ban are far-right activists Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer; white supremacist politician Paul Nehlen; and Paul Joseph Watson, who works with Jones as an editor at conspiracy site InfoWars.

Jones, who gained notoriety for, among other things, denying the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred, was already banned from Facebook, but now will also be banned from Instagram. Jones' InfoWars page was also banned.

Several of those who were banned have also previously been removed from other social media sites like Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR). 

Those who have been removed will also be prohibited from starting new accounts — though other Facebook and Instagram users will still be able to create posts about them, including those that might praise them or their viewpoints.

BuzzFeed reported that Facebook was criticized for how it released news of the bans, which it appeared to release to some news outlets before it actually removed the accounts. 

Facebook’s decision follows several recent acts of violence by people who claimed a far-right ideology, including church and synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh, New Zealand and the San Diego area.

Facebook shares were down 0.26 percent at $192.53. 

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