Thursday, 28 March 2019 06:13

Facebook bans white nationalism, separatism from site Featured

Facebook bans white nationalism, separatism from site Pixabay

Social media giant Facebook has announced that it will ban pages that praise, support or represent white nationalism and separatism both on its own site and Instagram, with the ban set to be enforced from next week.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook said content of this nature was linked to hate groups and had no place on its services.

Anyone who searches for terms associated with white supremacy on Facebook and Instagram will be provided a link to a page known as Life After Hate "where people can find support in the form of education, interventions, academic research and outreach", the company said. (See image from Facebook below, right)

Life After Hate is "an organisation founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach".

Facebook's move comes in the wake of the 15 March shootings in Christchurch where a white supremacist gunman from Australia shot and killed 50 Muslims in cold blood at a mosque.

anti hateThe gunman, Brenton Tarrant, live-streamed his murderous rampage on Facebook and the footage remained there for more than an hour. It was posted on numerous YouTube channels and linked off Twitter as well.

The Facebook post said while it had always prohibited content connected to white supremacy, it had not applied the same treatment 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 company said, however, it had had conversations over the last three months with ordinary people and academics who were experts in race relations and this had "confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups".

"Our own review of hate figures and organisations — as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organisations policy — further revealed the 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."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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