Weeks after the deadly New Zealand mosque attacks that killed 50 people, Facebook announced the company is banning white nationalism and white separatism from its platform, reported Motherboard.
In a blog post published Wednesday, the tech company revealed they had conversations with activists and civil rights groups about what action to take against hate groups.
“Today 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,” the company wrote in the post. “It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services.”
Since Trump was elected president, Facebook received large amounts of backlash and pressure from activism groups to be more vigilant against hate. Criticism of the company was renewed in the time after the Christchurch shooter used Facebook to livestream his attacks on two mosques.
Starting next week, changes made to the platform now redirects anyone who searches for terms associated with white supremacy to a link for Life After Hate, a nonprofit that helps people to leave hate groups, the company said.
In a previous Motherboard report, the news outlet revealed that Facebook’s user policies did ban white supremacy, but still allowed white nationalism and white separatism to exist on the platform.
“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 said in its post.
Color of Change, an advocacy group motivated to hold technology companies socially accountable, called Facebook’s decision a “critical step forward.”
“Facebook’s update should move Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon to act urgently to stem the growth of white nationalist ideologies, which find space on platforms to spread the violent ideas and rhetoric that inspired the tragic attacks witnessed in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and now Christchurch,” Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said in a statement to NBC News.
While Twitter has not officially banned white nationalism, their terms and agreements forbid users from affiliating with organizations that “use or promote violence against civilians” or using “hateful images or symbols” in profile images, reported NBC News.
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