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Social Media Giant Facebook Bans Canadian White Nationalism Accounts

Facebook users searching for terms associated with white supremacy are being directed to Life After Hate, an organisation set up by former violent extremists, which provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

In its first crackdown against white nationalism and separatism on its platform, Facebook has banned far-right political commentator Faith Goldy and Canadian white nationalist groups including from Instagram.

Facebook last month abandoned a long-standing policy of allowing white supremacy to thrive on its platforms as nations criticised it for promoting hate propaganda in the wake of New Zealand terror attacks.

BuzzFeed first reported on Goldy’s ban from the social network.

“Facebook will ban Faith Goldy, Soldiers of Odin, the Canadian Nationalist Front, and other hate groups from across its platforms,” the report said.

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“BANNED FROM @FACEBOOK & @INSTAGRAM. Somehow state media had enough advance warning to get a piece out before even I found out! Our enemies are weak & terrified. They forget most revolutions were waged before social media!” tweeted Goldy who ran for mayor of Toronto last year.

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

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

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

Besides streaming the 17-minute attack on the first mosque on Facebook, the attacker, Australian national Brenton Tarrant, had also posted a 70-page manifesto detailing his extreme right-wing ideology and hatred for Muslims.

Facebook said last week that 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 important part of people’s identity”.

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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.

Facebook users searching for terms associated with white supremacy are being directed to Life After Hate, an organisation set up by former violent extremists, which provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook ‘Unintentionally’ Uploaded Emails of Nearly 1.5 mn Users

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

In a latest privacy goof up, Facebook “unintentionally” uploaded the emails of nearly 1.5 million of its users during the past three years.

A Facebook spokesperson admitted on late Wednesday that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

First reported by Business Insider, the revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”.

“Last month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time,” the Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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FILE – A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

“We’ve fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported,” Facebook said.

The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted, reports CNET.

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“People can also review and manage the contacts they share with Facebook in their settings,” said the company.

Facebook is facing the heat over several data scandals, including the massive Cambridge Analytica scandal where personal information of up to 87 million users was leaked. (IANS)