Facebook permanently bans anti-Semitic French comedian

Facebook bans Dieudonne from its platform and from Instagram over content which mocked Holocaust victims.

Elad Benari ,

Dieudonne
Dieudonne
Reuters

Facebook said on Monday it had permanently banned French comedian Dieudonne, a convicted anti-Semite, from its platform and from Instagram for content it said mocked Holocaust victims, AFP reports.

It also said some of his posts used "dehumanizing terms against Jews".

"In line with our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, we have permanently banned Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala from Facebook and Instagram," the company said in a statement quoted by AFP, using his full name.

"Banning a person permanently from our services is a decision that we always weigh carefully, but individuals and organizations that attack others on the basis of what they are do not have a place on Facebook or Instagram," it added.

The comedian had his YouTube channel cut off for similar reasons in June by mother company Google.

He had about 1.3 million followers on Facebook, and some 400,000 on YouTube.

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism welcomed the ban as a "great victory", saying Dieudonne's posts "have done considerable and irreparable damage among young people."

The comedian stirred up controversy several years ago when he invented the quenelle gesture, a reverse Nazi salute that has become extremely popular in anti-Semitic and extremist circles across the French-speaking world and worldwide.

He was widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism and already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content. The comedian managed to have some of the bans overturned.

In 2015, a French court convicted Dieudonné of anti-Semitic comments and fined him $24,000.

Dieudonné was also barred from entering Canada in 2016, though he later performed in front of fans in Montreal via video link.

The controversial comedian was also sentenced to two months in jail in Belgium for incitement to hatred over anti-Semitic comments during a show in that country.



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