Facebook, Instagram ban Faith Goldy as they purge white nationalist groups

The social network said Goldy and other groups violated its rules against "organized hate."

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Queenie Wong
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goldy at Mayor debate

Faith Goldy, a far-right political commentator and former Toronto mayoral candidate, has been banned from Facebook and Instagram.

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Facebook has booted far-right political commentator Faith Goldy and Canadian white nationalist groups from the world's largest social network.

The tech giant's move comes more than a week after Facebook said it'd ban white nationalist and white separatist content from its platform after backlash from civil rights groups and black scholars. Facebook has also faced mounting pressure to combat hate speech after a white terrorist used the social network to livestream part of the mass killing of 50 Muslims in New Zealand. 

On Tuesday, officials from Facebook and Google are scheduled to testify in a congressional hearing about hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism on their platforms. 

BuzzFeed, which first reported on Goldy's ban from the social network, said that white nationalist groups such as Soldiers of Odin, the Canadian Nationalist front, Wolves of Odin, and the Aryan Strikeforce along with white nationalist Kevin Goudreau have also been barred from Facebook. 

A company spokeswoman confirmed that those individuals and groups have been banned for violating Facebook's rules against "dangerous individuals and organizations," which includes those involved in organized hate. The ban also applies to Facebook-owned Instagram. 

"Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on our services," a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. 

The company is also removing any groups and pages on Facebook and Instagram that are linked to the ones that it banned.

Goldy, a former Toronto mayoral candidate who is popular among white nationalists, came under fire last week after she posted a video in which she claims that "European extinction is imminent." The Huffington Post showed Facebook the video but a company spokesperson told the publication it didn't violate policies, including the new rules against white nationalist content. 

Once Facebook determines that a group or individual is involved in organized hate though, they're not allowed on the platform despite what content they post. The company looks at a variety of factors to make that decision, including whether an organization or their leaders have called for or carried out violence against people based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and more.  

Goldy didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but she tweeted that her Facebook and Instagram accounts had been banned. 

Goudreau, who is chairman of the Canadian Nationalist Front, denied violating Facebook's rules and said in an email that banning him only advances his "cause by leaps and bounds" and increases his following. 

Contact information for the other groups wasn't immediately available. 

Originally published April 8, 12:06 p.m. PT
Update, 1:01 p.m. PT: Includes comment and background from Facebook. Update, 2:06 p.m. PT: Includes comment from Goudreau.