Monday, 29 April 2019 11:27

White Nationalism and Separatism on Facebook – Ousted Troll of the Month

Facebook has changed its policy on white nationalism and separatism, now officially banning content related to these ideologies on its platform. 

The Troll of the Month is an incident we choose every month to expose racist and anti-religious haters and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against intolerance in Europe.

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Facebook has announced that it will ban white nationalism and separatism content on its platform. Despite a ban on white supremacists on the platform in the past, Facebook has allowed content which calls for white ethno-states and a white-only United States to remain on the platform. The new policy change officially bans such content and comes in the wake of the New Zealand terror attacks, the perpetrator being a white supremacist. 

Last year, Vice News’ Motherboard revealed Facebook’s policies on moderating white supremacy and hate, based on training documents for moderators. In the training documents, phrases like “I am a proud white nationalist” and “The US should be a white-only nation” were used as examples of acceptable viewpoints on the platforms, and therefore not to be removed. Furthermore, the documents claimed that white nationalism “doesn’t seem to be always associated with racism (at least not explicitly)” and that white nationalists “carefully avoid the term supremacy because it has negative connotations”.

Commenting on the recent policy change, Facebook said: “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.”

Recently it has become ever more clear that white nationalism is in fact a global threat and dangerous, and must be treated as such by social media platforms like Facebook. Social media plays a major role in communication and recruitment in groups such as white supremacists, and thus Facebook’s reaction is justified, if not too late.   

“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 commented.

 

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