Facebook finally banned white nationalism and white separatism after previously excluding both from its definition of white supremacy. But, it seems the social media giant may not be taking its own policy seriously.
Recently, a Facebook spokesperson told HuffPost that a video of Canadian white nationalist Faith Goldy invoking white “replacement” and claiming that Jews and people of color “invaded” white European countries doesn’t break any policies.
The video — titled “Race Against Time” —begins with text that reads “European extinction is imminent.” At one point, Goldy mentions the “Great White North” and that “whites will be a minority in America in less than a generation.”
Both of these statements fall into well-known white nationalist talking points that claim white people are systematically being replaced. The conspiracy theory of white genocide isn’t based in any fact, but it serves as a base to justify violence.
As Facebook continues to deal with fall out from allowing the Christchurch shooting to livestream on its platform, it’s ironic that a spokesperson would downplay Goldy’s comments. The Christchurch shooter’s manifesto invoked the same theories around “white genocide”, after all.
This highlights a continuing issue with Facebook. Drafting new rules about white supremacy doesn’t matter if you fail to actually address it. As Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, told HuffPost, “They don’t need the new policy to kick off Faith Goldy — she’s been posting this content for years, and it broke the old policy, too.”
Facebook very obviously created its new policy to appease civil rights groups and the public, especially as it was facing continued backlash from the Christchurch video.
What the company has to realize is that it’s not in a position to re-define white nationalism. As long as Facebook continues to make excuses and dodge white nationalism’s actual meaning, this policy won’t create any meaningful change.