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Facebook bans French comedian for anti-Semitism

August 3, 2020

French comic Dieudonne had previously been convicted of anti-Semitism. In June he was banned from YouTube — and now Facebook and Instagram have followed suit, saying he spread content that mocked Holocaust victims.

Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala arriving at court in 2019
Image: Getty Images/AFP/K. Tribouillard

Social media giant Facebook announced Monday it has permanently banned French comedian and convicted anti-Semite Dieudonne from its platforms for spreading content that mocked Holocaust victims.

Facebook said some of his posts used "dehumanizing terms against Jews," according to news agency AFP. The ban also extends to Instagram, which Facebook owns.

"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 shared with French news outlets.

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

Read more: My Europe: Xenophobia, nationalism can only be defeated together

The comedian, known simply by his first name Dieudonne, had 1.3 million followers on Facebook and 36,000 on Instagram, according to French newspaper Le Monde.

The decision comes a month after Google banned him from YouTube at the end of June for similar reasons.

'Great victory'

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) welcomed the ban as a "great victory."

"The air is more breathable this morning on social media," they wrote on Twitter. "An anti-Semite has stopped broadcasting."

Dieudonne has been convicted multiple times in both France and Belgium. He received a two-month suspended jail service in 2015 when he expressed sympathy for one of the terrorists involved in the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January of that year.

Most recently, he was fined €9,000 ($10,600) in November for posting a video authorities deemed to be anti-Semitic.

Dieudonne has collaborated with known Holocaust deniers in the past and has claimed that a "Zionist lobby" controls the world. He has also been convicted of tax fraud and money-laundering.

Kommentarbild PROVISORISCH Elliot Douglas
Elliot Douglas Elliot Douglas is a video, audio and online journalist based in Berlin.