FACEBOOK and Instagram have banned posts about white nationalism and white separatism in bid to put a stop to extremism on its apps.
The decision comes after social media sites have been severely criticised in the wake of the New Zealand massacre in which 50 people were murdered in a Facebook livestream video.
Getty – Contributor Facebook is to ban posts about white nationalism and white separatism in bid to put a stop to extremism on its app
Facebook Facebook users who try to post content related to white supremacism, separatism or nationalism will be shown this message
In a desperate bid to “stand against hate”, the new policy will be put in place starting next week and will affect all of Facebook’s close-to 2 billion-wide user base, in addition to Instagram, the networking site announced.
The Facebook Newsroom post wrote: “It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our services.
“Unfortunately, there will always be people who try to game our systems to spread hate.
“We are deeply committed and will share updates as this process moves forward.”
It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our servicesFacebook
As part of the extremism crackdown, the social media giant will no longer allow phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist” and “Immigration is tearing this country apart; white separatism is the only answer,” reported Motherboard.
Before the new policy was decided on, Facebook had only prevented users from sharing messages that promoted white supremacy.
It was put on blast by civil rights advocates who argued that white supremacy is indistinguishable from white nationalism and white separatism.
If a user posts content including these statements or themes, Facebook will now direct them toward a nonprofit that helps people leave hate groups.
Brian Fishman, policy director of counter-terrorism at Facebook, told Motherboard: “We’ve had conversations with more than 20 members of civil society, academics, in some cases these were civil rights organisations, experts in race relations from around the world.
“We decided that the overlap between white nationalism, (white) separatism, and white supremacy is so extensive we really can’t make a meaningful distinction between them.”
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Several civil rights advocacy groups praised Facebook’s decision, including racial justice organisation Colour of Change.
Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights group Color of Change, called on other tech companies “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.”
He added: “We look forward to continuing our work with Facebook to ensure that the platform’s content moderation guidelines and trainings properly support the updated policy and are informed by civil rights and racial justice organisations.”
Getty – Contributor Before the new policy was decided on, Facebook had only prevented users from sharing messages that promoted white supremacy
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