Facebook is cracking down: On both Facebook and Instagram, "praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism" are banned starting next week, the company announced Wednesday. The move comes two weeks after the gunman in New Zealand's mosque shootings streamed the massacre on Facebook. As Variety explains, Facebook already had policies in place to ban white supremacist content, but said in its announcement that more needed to be done. "Over the past three months our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups," the company 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," the company explains. "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 also said it will continue to invest in artificial intelligence that can remove extremist content and will keep trying to "stay ahead" of those who attempt to find loopholes and "game our systems to spread hate." In addition, any search terms for white nationalist or white supremacist content will be redirected Life After Hate, a group run by former violent extremists that attempts to help right-wing extremists change their perspective. (Read more Facebook stories.)