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Will Facebook’s Ban On White Nationalist Content Impact Growing Recruitment?

The Facebook website appears on a computer screen, March 28, 2019

Photo by Jade Hindmon

Above: The Facebook website appears on a computer screen, March 28, 2019

GUEST: Brian Levin, director, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSU San Bernardino

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After months of talks with civil rights advocates and experts on race relations, Facebook announced Wednesday it would ban white nationalist and white separatist posts on its platform and Instagram beginning next week.

The social media giant has long banned hate speech and white supremacy, but in a blog post Facebook said it recognizes there is no meaningful difference between white supremacy and white nationalism, which have been linked to organized hate groups behind terrorist attacks.

"Our own review of hate figures and organizations – as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organizations policy – further revealed the overlap between white nationalism and white separatism and white supremacy. 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 in a statement.

The company also said it is redirecting people who search for terms even associated with white supremacy to an organization called Life after Hate, which helps people leave hate groups.

Professor Brian Levin is the director of CSU San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. He joins Midday Edition Thursday to talk about the rise in hate groups around Southern California and how Facebook's new policy could have an impact.


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