Britain First's Facebook page taken down for 'hate speech' - but not for long

The right-wing extremists were only offline for an hour

Britain First’s Facebook page was taken down for hate speech on Friday – only to be restored again an hour later.

Facebook claimed the extremist group’s page was taken down by mistake but a screenshot posted by anti-fascist campaigners Hope Not Hate seemed to show the social media site had removed Britain First in response to a complaint.

With almost 500,000 “likes” Britain First’s page has a following that far outstrips the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, arguably making it the UK's biggest political site.

The right-wing extremists offer up an array of Islamophobia, pro-military memes, Crusades images and capital punishment debates, broken up with adoring pictures of the monarchy and dog pictures.

One post asks: “When a dog attacks a child and scars them for life, the dog is put to sleep. Shouldn’t we do the same to paedophiles?”

There are also catchy slogans, like “Save Your Country (UK) BAN HALAL” and "this is England - love it or leave it".

Perhaps the numerous pictures of soldiers from the Crusades with messages like "arise sons of Albion and take your country back" prompted the complaint, or maybe it was the "no more mosques banner".

Britain First, formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party, proclaims itself as a “patriotic political movement”.

Complete with its own “Defence Force”, members are known for invading mosques with Bibles and carrying out so-called “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas.

Volunteers dressed in matching khaki jackets and flatcaps are organised into “batallions” to go and confront councils and mosques.

The group’s Facebook page was previously shut down in July 2013 for violating the terms of use.

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