A civil court in Rome has ruled that Facebook
must immediately reactivate the account of the Italian neo-fascist party CasaPound and pay the group €800 (£675) for each day the account has been closed, according to local media.
shut the party’s account, which had 240,000 followers, along with its Instagram page in early September. A Facebook
spokesperson told the Ansa news agency at the time: “Persons or organisations that spread hatred or attack others on the basis of who they are will not have a place on Facebook
and Instagram. The accounts we removed today violate this policy and will no longer be present on Facebook
The company must also pay €15,000 in legal costs, according to details of the ruling that the party shared with the Italian press. The judge reportedly ruled that without Facebook
, the party was “excluded (or extremely limited) from the Italian political debate”.
CasaPound was founded in the late 1990s as a pro-Mussolini drinking club. Named after the 20th-century American poet Ezra Pound, who was known for his fascist sympathies and antisemitism, it claims to support a democratic variant of fascism but has been accused of encouraging violence and racism. In November two former militants were convicted of gang-raping a woman in Viterbo, in the Lazio region.
It is not the first time Facebook
has taken action against the party. In April, activists from CasaPound as well as other far-right politicians – including the great-grandson of Mussolini – accused the company of discrimination after their accounts were suspended.
This week CasaPound threatened to infiltrate a national rally due to be held in Rome on Saturday organised by the Sardines, a movement that emerged in November in protest against the politics of the far right.
spokesperson said the company was aware of the court’s decision “and we are reviewing it carefully”.