White nationalist content is prohibited on Twitter

The Facebook group is expanding its fight against racist content on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. The move is in response to the debate following the racist massacre of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Facebook had been accused of not doing enough against racism on its platforms.

From next week on, “praise, support and presentation” of “white nationalism” and “white separatism” are forbidden. The company said this in a post on its blog. These ideologies are closely linked to "organized hate groups".

These terms are less known in Germany. White nationalists are calling for an ethnically defined state "for whites" or at least a white majority in the state. White separatists are calling for white people to be separated from non-white people - which is only possible with violence against them.

According to critics of the terms, both are just cover words for outright racism and the concept of white supremacy (White supremacy), according to which white people are above other ethnic groups. Propaganda for and confessions to white supremacy have been banned on Facebook since last year.

Sentences like: "I am a proud white nationalist", explained Facebook, or also: "Immigration is tearing the country apart, white nationalism is the only answer" would now be deleted.

Machine learning against racist contributions

Facebook had explicitly allowed both ideologies and from white supremacy delimited. However, from the point of view of experts, the three are closely related or overlap strongly.

Facebook's laissez-faire handling of extremist content has been criticized for years. Research by the Vice website about the subtle distinction between the terms that Facebook gave its content moderators had fueled the debate last year. Civil rights groups were appalled. The criticism became even louder after the attack in Christchurch because the assassin was probably the white-supremacy-Ideology is close.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had called for tough action against racist propaganda. In particular, she criticized the fact that Facebook did not prevent the distribution of the video that the assassin had shot during the attack out of profit interest. Facebook said it had deleted 1.5 million versions of the video, 1.2 million of which were already being uploaded using the upload filter. Now she welcomed Facebook's announcement: "These categories should generally fall under community standards against hate speech, but that clarification is good after the Christchurch attack."

For a long time, white nationalism and separatism were seen in the same category as American national pride or Basque separatism - and thus as legitimate, Facebook writes. But critics say: Such an equation ignores the fact that in history it was practically always whites who oppressed and attacked blacks and other groups on the basis of such racist theories.

Forwarding to the dropout program

After talks with "representatives of civil society and academics", Facebook has now decided that white nationalism and white separatism can no longer be separated from propaganda for "white supremacy", the blog post says. All three are racist hate ideologies.

Facebook also wants to directly support prevention against racist extremism and help dropouts. If a user searches for keywords associated with the movements in the future, a new window will be displayed. From that he was redirected to the page of the organization "Life after Hate". Purified extremists are involved in the to help people in radical groups to exit.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will be used to filter extremist content, Facebook said. However: "Unfortunately there will always be people who use our system to spread hatred."