Facebook bans white nationalism

on Mar27
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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Facebook, which already blocks white supremacy posts, announced a ban Wednesday on content supporting white nationalism or separatism.

Starting next week, Facebook and Instagram will remove posts and comments that praise or support white nationalism.

“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,” the company said in a post titled “Standing Against Hate.”

The social network said it hadn’t banned expressions of white nationalism because it was considering the broader scope of the concept, like separatism and pride. However, after conferring with race relations experts, Facebook decided that the rationale it applies to white supremacy also should apply to white nationalism, due to the company’s long-standing policy against hate speech on race, ethnicity or religion.

Facebook said it will apply the same artificial intelligence detection it uses to identify terrorism content for white nationalist posts.

Facebook also said it will connect people who make searches about white supremacy to organizations such as Life After Hate, which was founded by former violent extremists and provides education and support.

Facebook’s announcement came less than two weeks after a self-proclaimed white nationalist killed 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand. The shooter streamed the attack live on Facebook, and copies of the video spread across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Following the attack, President Donald Trump said he did not see a rise in white nationalism.



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