Facebook bans white nationalism

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 28 March 2019
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has banned the praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism as it cleans up its platform following the Christchurch attack in which 50 people were killed .

The social media giant says it has always banned white supremacy -- the belief that white people are superior to all other races -- but from next week it will ban all expressions of white nationalism, arguing the two can't be separated.

“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,” Facebook says.

“Over the past three months our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups.”

Facebook also says its review of hate groups found an overlap between white nationalism and separatism and white supremacy.

“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 says.

The decision comes following increased global pressure on tech giants, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to do more to stop the proliferation of racism on their platforms following the Christchurch attack.

Since the attack, New Zealand advertisers have called for a global boycott of Facebook until its live-streaming service, which was used by the attacker, is taken down or better regulated.

In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has vowed to introduce tougher legislation and a task force to regulate content on digital platforms.

To further address concerns around the safety of its platform, Facebook says it will also start connecting people who search for white supremacy-related terms to the group Life After Hate, an organisation focused on helping people leave hate groups.

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