April 8, 2019
April 8, 2019 6:28 PM EDT
Faith Goldy who was supposed to speak at Wilfrid Laurier University but was interrupted by a fire alarm speaks outside the university on March 20, 2018. Hannah Yoon / THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA — Six Canadian people and groups involved in “organized hate” have been banned from having any further presence on Facebook and Instagram.
Those banned include one-time Toronto mayoral candidate and far-right political commentator Faith Goldy.
Also banned are the Canadian Nationalist Front and its chairman Kevin Goudreau, Aryan Strikeforce, Wolves of Odin and Soldiers of Odin (also known as Canadian Infidels).
Facebook is imposing the ban after concluding the six spread hate and urge attacks on or exclusion of others based on their identity, in contravention of the social-media giant’s policy on dangerous organizations and individuals.
Such individuals and organizations “have no place (on) our services,” a Facebook spokesperson said Monday.
Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet,
but your article continues below.
“Our work against organized hate is ongoing and we will continue to review individuals, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”
Goldy provided sympathetic coverage for Rebel Media of the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.; Rebel Media subsequently “said goodbye” to her for taking part in a podcast on a neo-Nazi group’s website. She ran a distant third in Toronto’s mayoral race last year.
She responded to the ban on another social-media platform, Twitter: “Our enemies are weak & terrified,” she wrote. “They forget most revolutions were waged before social media!”
In February, Goldy was among those who spoke to a convoy of truckers and others on Parliament Hill. They were protesting federal policies on pipelines, carbon taxation and immigration; their ranks included some so-called Yellow Vesters espousing anti-immigration and white-nationalist messages and accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of treason. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier also addressed the protesters.
Facebook’s move to ban Goldy prompted renewed criticism Monday of Scheer for failing to denounce extremist elements involved in the protest.
Goldy has “a pretty clear track record of racist, anti-Semitic and white-supremacist messaging,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen. “I don’t think it takes a lot to figure out you shouldn’t be sharing a stage with that kind of individual.”
Hussen called on all politicians to disassociate themselves from anyone who promotes hatred against others.
“We should stop dancing around with them, we should stop associating with them and we should definitely not share a platform with them physically in front of Parliament Hill.”
Scheer, in turn, accused the Liberals of raising the issue in a “disgusting attempt” to deflect attention from the SNC-Lavalin affair.
“We will always denounce those who promote hateful ideologies while standing up for energy workers and fighting for their jobs,” he told the House of Commons.
Faith Goldy ordered to pay Bell Media more than $43,000 in legal fees
Facebook, Google face widening crackdown over online content
Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould has been consulting with social media giants about how they intend to police their platforms to weed out hate and incitements to violence, as well as malicious foreign and domestic actors attempting to sow discord or manipulate the outcome of this fall’s federal election. She said Monday she’s not happy with the progress they’ve made so far and suggested regulations will eventually need to be imposed.
“I would note that the U.K. has released a white paper today with regards to regulating social media and what that looks like. We are having active conversations with our partners and allies around the world as to what this would look like in the Canadian context,” Gould said.
New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen said social-media giants can’t be left to police themselves.
“The days of self-regulation are over,” he said.