'Long overdue': Facebook bans white nationalism on its platforms

Apr 29 2019

‘Long overdue’: Facebook bans white nationalism on its platforms

Article from: www.aljazeera.com

Facebook has banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its social media platforms, including Instagram, in a move that comes in the wake of a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand earlier this month.

The implementation of the new policy will begin next week, the United States-based internet giant said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,” the statement read.

Facebook policies already banned posts endorsing white supremacy as part of the company’s prohibition against spewing hate at people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity and religion.

The ban had not applied to expressions of white nationalism, Facebook said, because it linked such expressions with broader concepts of nationalism or political independence – such as American pride or Basque separatism.

But conversations with civil rights groups and academics in recent months led Facebook to conclude that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups, the statement said.

“Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism,” Facebook said.

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a Washington-based legal advocacy group, welcomed the move.

“This is long overdue as the country continues to deal with the grip of hate and the increase in violent white supremacy,” she said. “We need the tech sector to do its part to combat these efforts.”

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