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Facebook, Instagram Bans Support, Praise, Representation of White Nationalism

"It's clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services"

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facebook, instagram
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Facebook has announced it is banning praise, support, and representation of white nationalism and separatism on its platform and on Instagram, which it also owns.

The company made the announcement Wednesday in a blog post, saying, “It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services.”

The post says Facebook has long banned hateful speech based on race, ethnicity and religion, though it had permitted expressions of white nationalism and separatism because it seemed separate from white supremacy.

facebook, instagram, nationalist
Facebook has long banned hateful speech based on race, ethnicity and religion, though it had permitted expressions of white nationalism. VOA

“But over the past three months,” the post read, “our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world … have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.”

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“Going forward,” it continued, “while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism.”

It said people searching for terms associated with white supremacy will be directed to information about the group “Life After Hate,” which is an organization that helps violent extremists leave their hate groups through intervention, education, support groups and outreach. (VOA)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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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

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

Also Read: Here Are Some Life Lessons That We Can Learn From Freedom Fighters this Republic Day

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)