Posted on September 21, 2018

Facebook to Review Policy That Bans White Supremacists but Not White Separatists or White Nationalists

Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News, September 20, 2018

Facebook has reportedly promised to review its policies regarding the handling of white nationalism and white separatism amid backlash from civil rights activists, who’ve slammed standards that allow such groups to remain on the platform.

Leaked internal documents obtained by Motherboard reveal that only “white supremacy” is explicitly banned from the social media site while Facebook content moderators are instructed to allow “white separatism” and “white nationalism” because they’re not “always associated with racism (at least not explicitly.)”


Becky Monroe, the director of the Stop Hate Project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, told the news site “making a distinction” amounts to “basically buying into what the white nationalists are trying to sell.”


The group added such policies stand opposed to the core of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which ruled the concept of racial segregation as inherently unequal.

“By attempting to distinguish white supremacy from white nationalism and white separatism, Facebook ignores centuries of history, legal precedent and expert scholarship that all establish that white nationalism and white separatism are white supremacy,” the letter reads.

They pointed specifically to Facebook groups like “It’s okay to be white” and “American White History month 2” which shares supremacist, separatists and nationalist memes. Combined, the pages have nearly 270,000 followers.

{snip} Officials expressed concern how such a move would affect other movements, citing Black separatist groups, the Zionist movement and the Basque movement .

They’ve seemingly since had a change of heart.

“We regularly meet with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Right Under Law, as well as other groups, to maintain an open dialogue on a variety of issues, including our policies on hate speech,” Facebook said in a statement to Gizmodo. {snip}