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".
The 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."