SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Facebook shuts down Italian neo-fascist parties’ accounts

The official accounts of dozens of Italian far-right activists and the neo-fascist parties CasaPound and Forza Nuova were shut down on Monday for violating hate speech policies.

Facebook shuts down Italian neo-fascist parties' accounts
Members of Italian far-right political movement "Forza Nuova" at a demonstration in 2017. Photo: AFP

The parties have also been kicked off Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

“People and organizations that spread hatred or attack others based on who they are, have no place on Facebook and Instagram,” Facebook said in a statement.

Rome-based CasaPound’s official Facebook page had almost 240,000 followers.

The Facebook and Instagram accounts of dozens of activists belonging to both far-right groups were also reportedly blocked.

 

CasaPound's Facebook page is history. Screenshot: Facebook

It’s not the first time the two groups have had accounts closed down, Italian news agency Ansa reports. Last April, shortly before the European elections, Facebook closed down the profiles of several high-profile members of both movements.

Both groups' Twitter accounts remain active.

The parties' chiefs – who also had their personal accounts shut – slammed the move as anti-democratic.

Gianluca Iannone, president of CasaPound, protested that the move was “an unprecedented attack”, telling Ansa the group would be filing an “urgent class action law suit against an act of disgraceful prevarication.”

The move was hailed as “exemplary” and “a correct and courageous choice” by the leader of Italy’s Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti.

“We must share and spread these important words to put an end to the season of hatred,” he told local media. “These are people who would deny others the right to exist.”

“Apology for fascism in Italy is not an opinion. It is a crime.”

On Monday, activists from both groups took part in a demonstration, alongside the League and Brothers of Italy, against the new left-leaning and pro-European government

In front of parliament, where Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was giving a speech, they could be heard chanting “Duce! Duce!” – the title fascists used to address 20th-century dictator Benito Mussolini – and were seen performing the fascist salute.

Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday called on the political class and Italian citizens to
moderate their tone – particularly on social networks – following 14 months of a populist government which has fomented hate and division, particularly via the internet.

READ ALSO:                                                                                                          

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COST OF LIVING

Fuel tax cut and help with energy bills: Italy approves inflation aid package

Italy on Thursday night approved new measures worth around 17 billion euros ($17.4 billion) to help families and businesses manage the surging cost of fuel and essentials.

Fuel tax cut and help with energy bills: Italy approves inflation aid package

As expected, the final version of the ‘aiuti-bis‘ decree provides another extension to the existing 30-cents-per-litre cut to fuel duty, more help with energy bills, and a tax cut for workers earning under 35,000 euros a year.

The package also includes further funding for mental health treatment: there’s another 15 million euros for the recently-introduced ‘psychologist bonus’ on top of the 10 million previously allocated.

READ ALSO: What is Italy doing to cut the rising cost of living?

There are also measures to help agricultural firms deal with this year’s severe drought.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi described the new package as an intervention “of incredible proportions”, which corresponds to “a little over 2 points of national GDP”.

However, he said, no changes were made to the national budget to pave the way for the new measures.

The measures will be funded with 14.3 billion euros in higher-than-expected tax revenues this year, and the deployment of funds that have not yet been spent, Economy and Finance Minister Daniele Franco said.

Italy has already budgeted some 35 billion euros since January to soften the impact of rising fuel costs.

The decree is one of the last major acts by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi before an early general election next month.

Elections are set for September 25th but the former European Central Bank chief is staying on in a caretaker role until a new government is formed.

Draghi said the Italian economy was performing better than expected, citing the International Monetary Fund’s estimate of three percent for 2022.

“They say that in 2022, we will grow more than Germany, than France, than the average of the eurozone, more than the United States,” he told a press conference.

But he noted the many problems facing Italy, “from the high cost of living, to inflation, the rise in energy prices and other materials, to supply difficulties, widespread insecurity and, of course political insecurity”.

Inflation hit 8 percent in Italy in June – the most severe spike the country has experienced since 1976.

SHOW COMMENTS