- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Facebook has agreed to shutter the public page of a group the administration has identified as anti-Semitic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

Murphy, a Democrat, said in a joint statement with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that the social media giant agreed to “take down the public page” of a group called Rise Up Ocean County, which purported to be focused on development in the shore community.

“We appreciate that Facebook has now decided that this kind of hateful rhetoric has no place on its platform,” Murphy and Grewal said in the statement.

Facebook determined the page violated community standards for hate speech, company spokesman Daniel Roberts said in an email. The page was removed Wednesday.

The development comes after Grewal’s office wrote in April to Facebook to make the social network aware of the page.



Among the posts on the group page, according to the attorney general, was a video in which the group predicted that a group of Orthodox rabbis would lead to the “colonization” of Lakewood, in Ocean County. Another comment on the site referenced the Holocaust and called for getting “rid of them like like Hitler did,” according to the attorney general.

Facebook last year cracked down on what it called “dangerous individuals,” banning accounts it said violated its policy. The company has said it has always banned people or groups that proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence, regardless of political ideology.

For years, social media companies have been under pressure from civil rights groups and other activists to clamp down on hate speech on their services. After the deadly white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Google, Facebook and PayPal began banishing extremist groups and people who identified as or supported white supremacists.

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