Facebook Bans White Nationalism And White Separatism In ‘Major Policy Shift’

Written by Ann Brown
Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash

Facebook has made a move to ban white nationalism and white separatism. The tech giant will treat the two the same as white supremacy.

The new policy will apply to both Facebook and Instagram.

“Last year, a Motherboard investigation found that, though Facebook banned ‘white supremacy’ on its platform, it explicitly allowed ‘white nationalism’ and ‘white separatism.’ After backlash from civil rights groups and historians who say there is no difference between the ideologies, Facebook has decided to ban all three, two members of Facebook’s content policy team said,” Motherboard reported.

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“We’ve had conversations with more than 20 members of civil society, academics, in some cases these were civil rights organizations, experts in race relations from around the world,” Brian Fishman, policy director of counterterrorism at Facebook, told Motherboard. “We decided that the overlap between white nationalism, [white] separatism, and white supremacy is so extensive we really can’t make a meaningful distinction between them. And that’s because the language and the rhetoric that is used and the ideology that it represents overlaps to a degree that it is not a meaningful distinction.”

When Facebook picks up phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist” or “Immigration is tearing this country apart; white separatism is the only answer,” the posts will be banned.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg helped formulate the new policy and about three dozen Facebook employees worked on it as well.

When users search for or try to post white nationalism, white separatism, or white supremacist content they will get a popup that will redirect to the website for Life After Hate, a nonprofit founded by ex-white supremacists whose aim is to get people to leave hate groups.