Facebook has announced that starting next week, it will begin removing white nationalism and white separatism content if it praises either ideology, is in favor of them, or otherwise represents them. The ban will apply to both the main Facebook platform and Instagram, with the company saying that these movements ‘have no place on our services.’
White nationalism and separatism are two political ideologies with a social movement element that seek the separation of white people from others and the establishment of a white national identity. Both fall under the banner of white supremacy despite attempts by some adherents to separation the two.
In a statement today, Facebook said that because the two ideologies ‘are deeply linked to organized hate groups,’ they have ‘no place on’ the company’s platforms. Media and other content critical of the concepts can remain on Facebook and Instagram under the new rules, but anything considered to be ‘praise, support and representation’ of the ideologies is now banned.
Facebook points out that its existing policies banned white supremacy, explaining why it didn’t put nationalism and separatism under the same banner. “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 says that consultation with experts revealed that “white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups … 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.”
In addition to the new ban, Facebook says it will direct users who search for white supremacy terms to resources designed to help people leave hate groups, including to an organization called Life After Hate.