Facebook said it is removing the controversial far-right group the Proud Boys and its founder, Gavin McInnes, from the social media service. The action comes after members of the Proud Boys were arrested earlier this month in New York City for participating in a brawl, appearing while kicking and punching several anti-fascist protesters who lay on the sidewalk, according to a video of the incident.
The Proud Boys was founded in 2016 by McInnes, who had previously co-founded the media company Vice Media. They describe themselves as "Western chauvinists," with the Southern Poverty Law Center noting they espouse anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. The SPLC designates them as a hate group.
Facebook is under pressure to remove hate speech and misinformation, an effort that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called "." The company's efforts far-right extremist Alex Jones from its site in August.
"Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve," Facebook said in a statement to CBS News. "We ban these organizations and individuals from our platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become aware of it."
It added, "We will continue to review content, Pages, and people that violate our policies, take action against hate speech and hate organizations to help keep our community safe."
The Proud Boys' main U.S. page and McInnes' personal page had been removed from Facebook, but some smaller pages linked to the group remained, CNET reported on Wednesday morning.