Facebook has banned posts praising or otherwise supporting white nationalism and white separatism on Tuesday, with the social network now directing users who have searched for terms tied to white supremacy toward a nonprofit that helps people leave 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,” the company said in a blog post.
The ban will go into effect next week and will also apply to Instagram, the popular Facebook-owned pictures and video app. A Facebook employee familiar with the policy said whether a user is permanently banned or temporarily suspended for violating the new policy will depend on the content of their post and their history on the platform.
Facebook’s decision to expand its policy against “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” — which includes bans against terrorist activities and “organized hate” — comes a year after Motherboard reported that while support for white supremacy violated the company’s rules, support for white nationalism and separatism were allowed.
The company, explaining its evolving stance on the matter, said it didn’t punish “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.”
The company added that users searching for terms linked to white supremacy will see a banner saying “these keywords may be associated with dangerous groups and individuals.”
They’ll then be directed to Life After Hate, an organization that looks to “help individuals exit hate groups today and to support those who have already left,” according to the website.