French Antisemitic Agitator Dieudonné Permanently Banned From Facebook for ‘Dehumanizing Jews’
A little over a month after he was booted from YouTube for consistently posting antisemitic content, the French comedian and agitator Dieudonné has been permanently banned from the Facebook and Instagram social media platforms for the same offense.
A Facebook spokesperson on Monday confirmed that Dieudonné had used “dehumanizing terms against Jews” in several of his posts.
“In line with our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, we have permanently banned Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala from Facebook and Instagram,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
The prohibition means that Dieudonné has been cut off from his 1.3 million followers on Facebook, in addition to the 400,000 users he lost when his YouTube account was shut down on June 30.
Banned from the UK, Canada and Belgium among other countries, Dieudonné has been convicted numerous times in France for violating laws against hate speech and Holocaust denial. He often collaborates with Alain Soral, a French neo-Nazi, and was an energetic promoter of the late Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson.
One of Dieudonné’s songs, titled “Shoananas” — a word that combines “Shoah,” the Hebrew word for “Holocaust,” with “ananas,” the French word for “pineapple” — pokes fun at the six million Jewish victims of the Nazis. The comedian is arguably best known for inventing the “quenelle” — an inverted Nazi salute that went viral in 2013.
Facebook’s decision was welcomed by politicians, anti-racist groups and Jewish organizations, some of whom called on the company to close down all similar accounts.
“I welcome Facebook’s decision and hope there will be more,” Elisabeth Moreno — France’s minister for equality — said in a statement. “All forms of speech inciting hatred and racism must be banned from social networks.”
The Paris-based League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA) remarked that “the air was more breathable on the social networks this morning — an antisemite has stopped broadcasting!”
A statement from CRIF — the umbrella organization representing French Jews — noted that it had been calling for “the closure of Dieudonné’s Facebook page for many years.”
Francis Kalifat, CRIF’s president, said in a statement that that the decision to ban Dieudonné “goes in the right direction of a safer internet where hatred has no place.”