San Francisco: Abandoning a long-standing policy of allowing white supremacy to thrive on its platform, Facebook has banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platform and Instagram.
“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our services,” Facebook said in a blog post late Wednesday.
The social networking giant came under pressure after a white man livestreamed a terror attack on Facebook Live on two mosques in New Zealand.
The Facebook Live video of the terror attack, which left 50 people dead, was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.
The company said it allowed the expressions of white nationalism and white separatism on its platforms 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”.
But over the past three months, said Facebook, its conversations with members of civil society and academics have confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups.
“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 white separatism,” Facebook said, adding the ban will come into force next week.
Facebook users searching for terms associated with white supremacy will be directed to Life After Hate, an organisation founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach.
Facebook indicated last year that it would review its policy on white nationalism and white separatism.