Facebook is finally banning white nationalism and white separatism, Motherboard reported on Wednesday.
White supremacy had already been banned on Facebook, but white nationalism and white separatism wasn't, as Motherboard previously reported. This drew criticism from experts who say these are all effectively the same thing. Facebook didn't initially see it that way, reportedly having previously told its moderators that white nationalism isn't always explicitly "associated with racism."
But it seems they've now changed their tune, making the decision Tuesday to ban all three. Brian Fishman, Facebook's policy director of counterterrorism, told Motherboard that "the overlap between white nationalism, [white] separatism, and white supremacy is so extensive we really can't make a meaningful distinction between them." A member of Facebook's policy team said the company has concluded that white nationalism and white separatism are "inherently hateful."
Posts containing phrases like "I am a proud white nationalist" will now be banned, and Fishman told Motherboard that those who try to post white nationalism or white separatism will be directed to a non-profit organization called Life After Hate, which strives to help people leave hate groups. This ban won't apply to less explicit white nationalism, though, since Facebook says that's more difficult to detect.
This ban will reportedly be be rolled out next week, and The Washington Post reports it will apply to Instagram as well.