A win against white supremacy

Facebook announced that they will take our suggestion to table white nationalist groups and individuals as dangerous

March 27, 2019

After two years of highlighting the threat of white nationalism to tech companies, I'm pleased to share that Facebook will now begin banning posts, photos, and content that reference and praise white nationalism and white separatism on its platform. This means that white supremacists will no longer have the same kind of presence on the social platform. Facebook will employ artificial intelligence to identify and remove any content that references this hateful and dangerous ideology.

We met with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, in 2017 to discuss the impact of hateful content and advertisements on the platform during the 2016 elections. Our aim was to push Facebook to not only address all forms of hate speech on its platform but also to label white supremacists as Dangerous Organizations in the Community Standards of the tech giant. From that meeting, we continued to routinely work with Facebook on these issues. We have worked with their policy team on improving their implementation and enforcement of those policies and ensuring the safety of marginalized communities online.

Hate speech policy on online platforms has been a major concern for American Muslims. As we’ve seen with the New Zealand shootings, hate speech can lead to violence and death. After the mosque shootings in Christchurch, we engaged Facebook to ensure the horrific video was taken down as well as any content praising the shooter.

Our concern is preventing anything like the violence that the Charleston, Quebec, Pittsburgh, Oak Creek, and Christchurch communities faced. That is why it was so important for us to urge Facebook to label white nationalists as "Dangerous Organizations.”

Facebook’s official policy change is an important step for American Muslims and other marginalized communities affected by violence from white nationalists. This step, while important, is just one step. There is still work to be done and we're committed to seeing this through.




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