By Sam Dorman
Published May 03, 2019
Emily Compagno, co-host of "The Five," suggested on Friday that Facebook banned a host of controversial figures — author Milo Yiannopoulos, Infowars founder Alex Jones, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — because the platform wanted to distract from the fact that it has amplified violence.
"I think this is a total farce," Compagno said after noting that as a private entity, Facebook had the right to censor certain figures. "I think this is an exercise by Facebook and [CEO Mark] Zuckerberg to make us think that they care and that they're virtuous and that they're concerned or whatever."
"And really," she added, "it's distracting us from the reality that they are and it is a platform that amplifies violence." In a statement to Fox News, Facebook explained its decision as part of a common practice of banning people who promote or engage in violence.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today,” the social media giant said.
Campagno said she thought "it's impossible to reconcile how, all of a sudden, they feel responsible for this content by right-wingers and you know, one on the left or whatever," she said.
"And all of a sudden, they're shutting it down when they have refused, every step of the way, to take responsibility for their platform that livestreams gang rapes and suicides and terrorist recruitment."
Co-host Jesse Watters said Facebook should allow everyone, including Farrakhan, "unless they're actually inciting violence." "More freedom is better than less freedom," he said.
Fox News' Christopher Carbone contributed to this report.