According to Zephoria, as of March 2019 there are 1.74 billion mobile active users on Facebook. Considering that is just under one quarter of the world’s population, its power in implementing real change has been somewhat slow. But after the recent and devastating massacre in Christchurch as well as a slew of civil rights issues, it stands to reason why one of the world’s biggest social media platforms should begin to regulate its content. The content in question being the championing of white nationalism.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced it would ban all “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” on Facebook and Instagram. The move comes two weeks after the Christchurch horror, when the terrorist responsible for countless deaths published a manifesto allegedly surrounding his strong support for white nationalism. While according to a report by Motherboard, stating that Facebook banned content relating to “white supremacy” last year, it had still allowed “white nationalism” and “white separatism” – until now.
Set to be implemented next week, the platform will seek to block all content including praise and representation of these views with users who try to search or post this content, redirected to a not-for-profit site. Titled, ‘Life After Hate’, the site founded by an ex-supremacist is dedicated to educating and encouraging users to leave hate groups.
“If people are exploring this movement, we want to connect them with folks that will be able to provide support offline,” Brian Fishman, policy director of counterterrorism at Facebook, told GQ. “This is the kind of work that we think is part of a comprehensive program to take this sort of movement on.”
As tension rises within organisations and political parties across the globe, this latest policy is a step in the right direction. What has become a huge influencing company in the global market, perhaps Facebook will encourage world leaders to also take a stance.