Facebook and Instagram ban the Proud Boys and founder Gavin McInnes

The bans from Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, were prompted by both sites’ policies on hate groups.

“Our team continues to study trends in organized hate and hate speech and works with partners to better understand hate organizations as they evolve,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We ban these organizations and individuals from our platforms and also remove all praise and support when we become aware of it.”

Losing Facebook groups could be a serious blow to the Proud Boys, who used public and private regional groups to recruit and vet new members. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called private Proud Boys Facebook groups “ideological echo chambers” where Proud Boys planned their often-violent appearances at political rallies.