“I do appreciate Farrakhan being properly labeled a right-wing extremist.”
In reporting on Thursday’s news that Facebook had banned various extremists from its platform, The Washington Post and The Atlantic characterized black nationalist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as “far-right.”
The ban, which also applies to Facebook-owned Instagram, instituted on figures such as Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Farrakhan, is part of Facebook’s efforts to address extremism and misinformation. The Alex Jones-run outlet Infowars has also been subjected to a ban. All Infowars content is prohibited on the social media platform.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today,” a spokesperson told The Atlantic.
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“Facebook bans far-right leaders including Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos for being ‘dangerous,'” read a headline in the Post. A story by The Atlantic staff writer Taylor Lorenz similarly lumped Farrakhan in with “several prominent right-wing extremists.”
The Atlantic has also labeled Louis Farrakhan as "far-right"
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 2, 2019
The label came as news to many, considering the noted anti-Semite’s past association with a slew of liberal and Democratic figures.
The Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz resurfaced various photos of Farrakhan with left-leaning figures such as President Barack Obama and Al Sharpton.
That's far-right figure Louis Farrakhan on the far-left of the photograph of Aretha Franklin's funeral.
Also, here's future President Obama meeting with far-right figure Louis Farrakhan.
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 2, 2019
Rutz also pointed out that Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory, a staunch progressive, once called Farrakhan the “greatest of all time.” Former Democratic congressman Keith Ellison has repeatedly faced questions over his alleged support for the Nation of Islam leader.
But not everyone had a problem with placing Farrakhan on the far-right of the ideological spectrum. “I do appreciate Farrakhan being properly labeled a right-wing extremist,” tweeted The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.
Farrakhan is many things, but he is not a liberal.
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) May 2, 2019
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Both the Post and The Atlantic eventually updated their stories and removed references to Farrakhan characterizing him as a “far-right” extremist. The Post issued a correction saying he had been “incorrectly included” in a list of far-right leaders.
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