Facebook accidentally removed an account belonging to The Specials‘ founding member Neville Staple due to its apparent link to skinhead culture, which has long been associated with far-right ideals.
The social media platform implemented a new ban on racist content across their platform earlier this week after the issues of racial injustice and prejudice came to the fore again in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Staple’s profile was deactivated by Facebook along with hundreds of others, with the musician believing that algorithms had tied the 1970s 2 Tone moment with racism. The musician later told the BBC that this was “the complete opposite of what [the band] were about”.
Staple’s wife and manager Christine, who also sung in The Specials, said: “We’re the 2 Tone era, we came about when racial tensions were nuts – a bit like what we’re going through now.
“We were all about bringing black and white together.”
She added that Facebook had “clearly not looked into 2 Tone”, claiming that their action was “generalising anyone associated with skinhead”.
Facebook has since confirmed that a number of accounts had been “removed in error” and were later reactivated.
Neville Staple, who departed The Specials in 2012, has been a longtime anti-racist campaigner.
George Floyd, 46, was killed in Minneapolis on May 25 following an altercation with police officers. His death has led to protests being held across the US, UK and around the globe, with a large number of well-known artists also expressing their outrage over systemic racism.