NEW YORK—Facebook has announced that it will start next week to ban content that glorifies white nationalism and separatism from its platform.
The move follows years of appeals from various organizations demanding an aggressive policy against hateful online content.
“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,” Facebook said.
Facebook had already banned white supremacy but it left a loophole which civil rights groups said promoted racism and hate. The company said it had allowed expressions of white nationalism and separatism “because we were thinking about broader concepts of nationalism and separatism – things like American pride.”
But that thinking changed after discussions with civil society groups and race relations experts over the last three months, Facebook explained.
The World Jewish Congress applauded Facebook’s move. “The World Jewish Congress and its affiliated communities in more than 100 countries are directly and dangerously affected by the proliferation of hate speech and incitement to violence online, and we have long advocated to Facebook and other social media companies to recognize that retrospective flagging and consideration of individual posts, on isolated bases, cannot suffice in a world that thrives on digital presence and influence,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.
“It is no easy task to flag and remove the hundreds of thousands of antisemitic, racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory posts uploaded each year, and we know that the mission ahead in identifying the groups and individuals behind this material is enormous. That said, it is absolutely necessary. There can be no gray area when it comes to hateful material online. Hate speech must be removed, period.”
“We are confident that Facebook will continue to embrace its moral corporate responsibility carefully and diligently, to ensure that this policy is extended to all existing and potential offenders, including blatant Holocaust deniers and obfuscators in all languages, as well as neo-Nazi groups such as the organizers of the Lukov March and other demonstrations, which brand themselves as ultra-nationalists to disguise their true intentions of glorifying murderers and their collaborators,” Singer said. “We also underscore our appreciation for Facebook’s support and involvement in the WJC’s #WeRemember campaign to raise awareness about the Holocaust, and all of its ongoing efforts to actively engage young people to educate about the horrors of hatred. This cannot be understated.”
“The World Jewish Congress called on other social media companies ‘’to follow suit and implement assertive policies that make it clear to zealous ideologues that hate has no place online.’’