Facebook has been banning accounts and pages associated with the right-wing group, the Proud Boys, following an October scuffle with Antifa in New York City.
Twitter users reported the Facebook take-downs on Tuesday, noting that both public and private accounts associated with the Proud Boys had vanished from the social media network, including founder Gavin McInnes, and a large account with over 20,000 members.
A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed the bannings with Business Insider, pointing to the company's rules and adding that the removal applies to Instagram as well.
On October 12, the Proud Boys engaged in a fight with Antifa outside of the Metropolitan Republican Club, where the 49-year-old McInnes had given a speech that evening. Left-wing activists had protested the club's decision to invite McInnes to speak for much of the week, making threatening phone calls in an attempt to convince them to cancel the event, according to club president Deborah Coughlin.
After the event a brawl erupted after a member of Antifa threw a bottle at the Proud Boys, ultimately resulting in the arrest of nine Proud Boys and three Antifa on charges of rioting, assault and attempted assault.
One member of the group, Geoffrey Young, 38, was taken into custody Thursday night and charged with two misdemeanors: riot and attempted assault. The Manhattan district attorney’s office said in a complaint that Mr. Young punched one victim in the face, kicked a second in the stomach and kicked a third three times in the head.
In what she described as a “vicious, unrelenting attack,” a prosecutor, Jamie Kleidman, said in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday that Mr. Young had “charged toward” six people believed to be protesters and was joined by about 10 other Proud Boys who “kicked, stomped and punched them.” -New York Times
Proud Boy John Kinsman, 39, was labeled the "single most vicious" member of the group, and was the second person arrested in the brawl. He was accused by the assistant DA accusing of punching, kicking and stomping members of Antifa.
In the mean time, my thoughts and prayers are with the beautiful family of John Kinsman, pictured here. John is a Proud Boy who was arrested after the brawl. Whatever John may have done wrong, his innocent children will have to suffer the consequences too. pic.twitter.com/I4At6rJJ3p— Robert L Morgan III (@RobertLMorganII) October 25, 2018
Kinsman was seen clean shaven and wearing a suit last week for his day in court:
The Proud Boys was founded in 2016 by McInnes - also a co-founder of Vice who is no longer affiliated with the magazine. Its members describe themselves as "Western Chauvinists," while those on the left have called them a hate group.
In a statement reported by BI, a Facebook spokesperson said: "Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve. We ban these organizations and individuals from our platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become aware of it. We will continue to review content, Pages, and people that violate our policies, take action against hate speech and hate organizations to help keep our community safe."