Facebook announced today that moving forward it will be banning white nationalist and separatist content on its platform. First reported by Motherboard, this dramatic shift in policy has been announced within two weeks since a white supremacist killed 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, and live-streamed the attack on Facebook.
Describing about this move, Facebook wrote a blog stating, “Any “praise, support, and representation of white nationalism and separatism” would be banned when the new policy goes into effect next week. It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services.”
“We didn’t originally apply the same rationale to expressions of white nationalism and separatism because we were thinking about broader concepts of nationalism and separatism – things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity,” the blog said.
For now, Facebook has put a ban on white supremacist content that include racist and hateful content based on race, ethnicity, and religion, but white nationalist and separatist content still needed to be included in its policy. However, with this new policy in action, phrases such as “Immigration is tearing this country apart; white separatism is the only answer” will also be prohibited.
As per the reports, the members of Facebook’s Content Standards Forum agreed to this new policy yesterday. Once the new policy is implemented, users searching for racist content or phrases like “Heil Hitler” will now be redirected to the Life After Hate, an organization providing services for former white supremacists and extremists like educational resources, support groups, and crisis intervention.
Talking about Facebook’s new policy, Rashad Robinson, President Color of Change, stated, “Facebook’s update should move Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon to act urgently to stem the growth of white nationalist ideologies, which find space on platforms to spread the violent ideas and rhetoric that inspired the tragic attacks witnessed in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and now Christchurch.”