Last month, Facebook finally banned white nationalism and white separatism on its platforms. Civil rights advocates had been calling for the ban for years, but Facebook didn’t implement one until after the Christchurch massacre live-streamed on its site.
Now, Facebook has moved on to tackling far-right organizations in the United Kingdom. The company has permanently banned twelve individuals and groups such as the British National Party (BNP), English Defence League (EDL), and Britain First, as reported by The Verge.
However, the company didn’t clearly say it was its ban on white nationalism that led to their removal. Instead, Facebook said the organizations fell under its new definition of “dangerous individuals and organizations.”
“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook,” Facebook said, according to The Verge. “Under our dangerous individuals and organizations policy, we ban those who proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence.”
Questions of whether Facebook would actually follow through on the ban arose early on after it said a video promoting white nationalism didn’t break any policies. The company backpedaled less than a week later, removing known Canadian white nationalist figures and groups — but not under its white nationalism ban.
For advocates, Facebook removing these groups and individuals is long over-due. Social media platforms have allowed white nationalism and its rhetoric to remain online for far too long.
However, Facebook has yet to clearly cite its ban on white nationalism or white separatism when removing groups that promote it. If the company is truly committed to tackling these problems, it needs to call white nationalism what it is, instead of beating around the bush.