Britain First goes from scary far-right hate group to total laughing stock after Facebook balls up

John Shafthauer

British nationalist groups have long argued that immigration must stop because Britain is full. But now the far-reaching Facebook group Britain First has contradicted this message – unless of course there’s a subtle message in their post that they haven’t typed out loud:


Britain is full

There has been widespread debate over whether the concept of ‘Britain being full’ makes sense. Some argue that it’s an oft-repeated but baseless idea, like the argument that ‘there’s no money left‘. And The Daily Mail used similar arguments to prevent German Jews coming to Britain in the 1930s. Despite that, the UK population has risen by about 20 million [pdf] since then.

Britain First has subscribed to the argument that Britain is full, using it to deny that its motivations are racially or culturally based. On a page from its website titled ‘Britain First and racism’ it says:

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Our opposition to immigration is based on space, not race.

Britain First is opposed to all mass immigration, regardless of where it comes from – the colour of your skin doesn’t come into it – Britain is full up.

Britain is heavily overcrowded – we cannot take in any more immigrants, especially when we have so many unemployed in our own country.

Several of the group’s followers have apparently taken this message to heart. And as a result, they’re also taking the above post from Britain First seriously.

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-15-53-24screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-15-54-31 screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-15-54-19Race not space

Several other followers have reacted as if the post didn’t say:


But actually said this:


screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-15-59-19 screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-16-00-53 screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-16-02-50

This would be an example of ‘dog-whistle racism’. While discussing the 2016 US election, Ian Haney Lopez described ‘dog-whistle racism’ as:

Dog whistling is widely — and correctly — understood as expressing racially loaded ideas in coded terms. For instance, it uses “inner city” or “illegal alien” to stand in for communities of color, and “silent majority” to invoke white people.

Far-right groups have long used dog-whistle politics to voice extreme viewpoints in the mainstream media. And nationalist groups on Facebook use the technique to avoid violating Facebook’s community standards.

A key contradiction

There is obviously an important problem with Britain First’s messaging. The group is either saying that Britain isn’t full, in which case its problem with immigration isn’t about space. Or it’s saying that white British people need to reproduce more quickly to counteract changing demographics. Which is another argument that isn’t about space.

It’s definitely a problem with race though.

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Follow Exposing Britain First on Facebook.

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Featured image via screengrab






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