Last week the legally embattled Southern Poverty Law Center took credit for Facebook and Instagram’s decision to ban Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, and any link or video featuring Alex Jones, and in a statement to Big League Politics Facebook would not deny that the SPLC held power over its decision.
The SPLC claimed last week that they put Facebook “under pressure” to ban the “dangerous” individuals from Facebook and Instagram, and heralded the move as “an important step for Facebook.”
In its article, the SPLC concluded that the organization “will continue to monitor how Facebook is enforcing its policies related to extremist content.”
Facebook replied to a request for a comment from Big League Politics, with a spokesperson writing in their statement that the company chooses to “speak with numerous organizations across the political spectrum to inform our policies,” and added that they use these conversations to “write and enforce our own policies” which they say are public knowledge.
In all of the statements Big League Politics received from Facebook, they have refused to acknowledge an official relationship with the SPLC, and have also refused to disavow them.
The company’s vague response to our request for comment shines a light on the possible overlap between the SPLC’s list of “hate figures,” which Facebook claims it does not map to, and the company’s policies.
Additionally, Facebook’s refusal to explicitly condemn the SPLC may represent a de facto endorsement of the group’s culture of misogyny and racism, which led to the termination or resignation of multiple high level SPLC employees in the wake of a lawsuit launched by conservative writer and media personality Gavin McInnes.
McInnes is suing the SPLC after they designated him and the Proud Boys, which he founded and later stepped down from, “hate figures” and “hate groups”, which many believe led to the group and its prominent members being banned from most social media and financial systems including PayPal and Chase Bank.
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