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Facebook to ban white nationalism and white separatism

ACTION: Facebook

FACEBOOK WILL ban content related to and promoting white nationalism and white separatism.

The move follows the mass murder of 50 muslims worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, and sees the company taking a step toward curbing racism and hate speech on the site.

According to Bloomberg, the social media giant’s policies have long excluded posts on white supremacy, but Facebook said it didn’t apply the same lens to expressions of white nationalism because it wanted to be able to include “broader concepts” of nationalism such as American pride and Basque separatism, which are linked to people’s identity.

Following an investigation by tech publication Motherboard, Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday (Mar 27) that it concluded “white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups.”

The blog post read: “Today we’re announcing a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram, which we’ll start enforcing next week. It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our services.

The rise of white nationalism on Facebook was highlighted in 2017 after a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists used the social networking site as a way to fuel hatred and to connect far-right groups.

This was further fuelled by the terrorist who killed 50 people in New Zealand earlier this month, and used Facebook to post a racist manifesto before recording the massacre using Facebook Live.

The platform acknowledged that it “need[s] to get better and faster at finding and removing hate from our platforms.”

“Over the past few years we have improved our ability to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to find material from terrorist groups. Last fall, we started using similar tools to extend our efforts to a range of hate groups globally, including white supremacists. We’re making progress, but we know we have a lot more work to do.”

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