In the wake of the recent Christchurch terror attack, Facebook has taken fresh steps to curb extremist and racial movement across all its platforms. The Christchurch attacks occurred in New Zealand in which 50 people were shot to death in mosques around the region.
After the attack, social media giants, Facebook came under much condemnation for the role it played albeit unknowingly in the attack. The shooter had broadcasted his acts on Facebook Live and had gotten over 4000 views before it was taken down. Although Facebook claims to have subsequently removed about 1.5 million videos of the incident, a lot of people are of the view that the platform played a major part in spreading racial messages and abetting community division.
This has led to Facebook’s latest ban on the support and representation of white nationalism and separatism on its platform and Instagram. The ban will be enforced starting from next week.
In their statement, Facebook stated:
“Our policies have long prohibited hateful treatment of people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity or religion – and that has always included white supremacy. 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. But over the past three months, our conversations with members of civil society, and academics who are experts in race relations around the world, have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.”
Although a few extreme rights groups may condemn this decision as they use the platform as the main tool for growing their support base, it is a welcome development.
This ban will put an end to racial and separatist type of content which could trigger unwanted emotions and lead to bad emotional and physical reactions. As such more hate-filled content that could breed disunity among people will no longer be allowed on the platform.
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