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Facebook expels alt-right figurehead

Facebook expels alt-right figurehead
From BBC - April 16, 2018

Facebook has banned the American white nationalist who popularised the term "alternative right".

Richard Spencer's page on the social network was removed on Friday along with two other pages he controlled: that of his National Policy Institute think tank, and one promoting his AltRight.com news analysis website.

Facebook has not commented, but the BBC understands the blocks are permanent.

Mr Spencer continues to have active accounts on Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook's action follows its decision to expel the anti-Islamic group Britain First and its leaders last month.

The US-based technology giant's terms and conditions state that it does not permit "hate speech", which it defines as including content that directly attacks people because of their race or ethnicity.

Last week, Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told Congress that the "question of what is hate speech versus what is legitimate political speech" was an issue that he and his team "struggle with continuously".

Raised arms

Mr Spencer has denied being a "white supremacist", but has spoken in favour of creating a North American country restricted to white people. He has also said he was proud of slavery, and has described Islam as being a "black flag".

The 39-year-old has been active in far-right politics for about a decade and claims to have created the phrase "alternative right" for a magazine headline. The article's author has said they in fact "co-created" the term.

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