Facebook is banning white nationalism

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Facebook will ban content supporting white nationalism or separatism, the company announced Wednesday.

Starting next week, Facebook and Instagram will remove posts and comments that praise or support white nationalism.

“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,” the company said in a release.

The social network didn’t initially ban expressions of white nationalism because it was considering the broader scope of the concept, like American pride, it said. However, after conferring with modern race relations experts, Facebook decided that the same rationale it applies to white supremacy should be applied to white nationalism, due to its long-standing policy against hate speech on race, ethnicity or religion.

Facebook said it will be using the same artificial intelligence detection it uses to identify content related to terrorism for white nationalist content.

Alongside this announcement, Facebook said it will target people who make searches about white supremacy and redirect them to resources to disconnect from hate groups.

People searching for these types of terms will be directed to Life After Hate, an organization founded by former violent extremists that provides education and support groups.

Facebook’s announcement comes on the heels an alleged white nationalist killed 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand earlier this month. The alleged shooter streamed the attack live on Facebook, and copies of the video spread across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Following the attack, President Trump said he does not see a rise in white nationalism.

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