Facebook and Instagram ban ‘white nationalism and separatism’

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Facebook and Instagram are expanding their ban on white supremacy on their platforms, almost two weeks after a shooter associated with such ideology committed the worst terror attack in New Zealand history and livestreamed it on Facebook.

“We’re announcing a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism on Facebook and Instagram, which we’ll start enforcing next week. It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,” the company announced in a post on its newsroom site on Wednesday.

MORE: Why it took YouTube, Facebook and Twitter so long to remove video of New Zealand mosque shootings)
The livestream of the attack on two New Zealand mosques, which killed 50 people and injured dozens more, drew worldwide attention for both the ability to have the event broadcast and for how long the content stayed up on social media platforms, also including YouTube and Twitter.

The company said they had always cracked down on white supremacy, but admitted it did not use the same tools to combat similarly couched extremist content.

“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,” the Facebook post said.

“But 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 organized hate groups,” the statement said. “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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