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Facebook Bans White Nationalism, Separatism

Facebook indicated last year that it would review its policy on white nationalism and white separatism

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Abandoning a long-standing policy of allowing white supremacy to thrive on its platform, Facebook has banned praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on its platform and Instagram.

“It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our services,” Facebook said in a blog post late Wednesday.

The social networking giant came under pressure after a white man livestreamed a terror attack on Facebook Live on two mosques in New Zealand.

The Facebook Live video of the terror attack, which left 50 people dead, was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

The company said it allowed the expressions of white nationalism and white separatism on its platforms 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”.

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FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

But over the past three months, said Facebook, its conversations with members of civil society and academics have confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised 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 white separatism,” Facebook said, adding the ban will come into force next week.

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Facebook users searching for terms associated with white supremacy will be directed to Life After Hate, an organisation founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach.

Facebook indicated last year that it would review its policy on white nationalism and white separatism. (IANS)

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Fake Ads on Facebook Spreading Rumours About anti-HIV Drugs

"Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health," it added

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Fake ads on Facebook are spreading rumours about the ill-effect of anti-HIV drugs, targeting LGBTQ Facebook and Instagram users and are causing significant harm to public health, a non-profit organization GLAAD has written in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“We are urgently reaching out to Facebook and Instagram regarding factually inaccurate advertisements which suggest negative health effects of Truvada PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).

“We request that Facebook and Instagram remove the advertisements and also publicly address the misinformation that the platforms allowed to spread,” the non-profit organization said in the letter.

Using Facebook’s and Instagram’s targeted advertising programs, various law firms are attempting to recruit gay and bisexual men who use Truvada PrEP as an HIV preventative to join a lawsuit, claiming that the drug has caused harmful side effects in this patient population, specifically bone density and kidney issues.

“This is despite numerous studies underscoring the safety of TDF in HIV-negative PrEP users,” said GLAAD.

Leading public health officials, medical professionals, and dedicated PrEP navigators and outreach coordinators have shared that these advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are being directly cited by at-risk community members expressing heightened fears about taking PrEP.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.

“Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent when taken daily.”

HIV test price in Delhi, HIV in Delhi, STD test in Delhi
HIV is a virus that impairs the body’s immune system badly and eventually takes the patient closer. Pixabay

By allowing these advertisements to persist on their platforms, said the letter, Facebook and Instagram are convincing at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable HIV infections.

“You are harming public health.”

Facebook was yet to comment on the letter.

Facebook’s Advertising Policy regarding misinformation in ads states that “Facebook prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

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We are the organizations with “particular expertise,” said GLAAD.

They demanded immediate action to ameliorate the harm which has already been caused to those who may be seeking preventative treatment against HIV.

“Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health,” it added. (IANS)