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White nationalism and separatism content banned on Facebook after Christchurch attack

Reports state that Facebook moderators will now delete content by targeting phrases supporting white separatism.

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Around two weeks ago, there were two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman broadcasted the attack live on Facebook.

In a bid to prevent any future incidents like the Christchurch shooting being live streamed on the site, Facebook announced that it will be banning all content that is supporting and representing white nationalism and white separatism.

Previously, Facebook had already placed restrictions on acts related to white supremacy

Even so, content related to white nationalism and white separatism was allowed on the site. Facebook explained this was 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.”

However, it seems that Facebook is changing its stance on the issue after talking to various civil society groups. The company stated that after these talks they had “confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.” Therefore, Facebook concluded that such things had no place on their services.

It is not yet known how Facebook will implement the policy, as an expression of white nationalist views often does not include explicit language

Reports state that Facebook moderators will now delete content by targeting phrases supporting white separatism. However, this will not be very effective in removing content related to white separatism and white nationalism. Facebook stated that they are deeply committed to combating hate speech on its site and that they will continue to improve their technologies to do so.

The new policy change has been praised by numerous politicians and civil rights groups. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that she was very “pleased” by Facebook’s policy change, however, she felt that more needed to be done in regards to putting a stop to hate speech.

What do you think? Happy to see Facebook implementing these changes? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Murtaza is a Computer Science student who takes immense interest in mobile technology. He believes the future of computing lies in smartphones because ARM architecture will eventually take over. He also loves to tinker with ROMs and kernels keeping up with the latest in smartphones.

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