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Facebook's White Supremacy Problem

Robert Franklin

Posted on September 20, 2018 12:13

2 users

Facebook, the most influential and widely-used social media platform since humans started talking to each other, is finally reviewing its internal policies for content that is white nationalist and white separatist in nature.

Facebook has stated that they will be reviewing internal policies regarding how the social network differentiates white nationalism and white separatism from white supremacy, even though conventional knowledge demonstrates -- with a staggering degree of authority -- that there is no distinction between white nationalism, separatism, and supremacy.

They are merely differing means that lead to the same end.

Following the events of the 2017 Charlottesville riots, the team of moderators at Facebook were "re-educated" on the topic of American white supremacy and how Facebook, as an institution, wanted to handle user posts on its platform that seemed to advocate for it. The "internal reckoning," as Motherboard described it in May, included explicit demarcation between white supremacy, and white nationalism and separatism:

"We don't allow praise, support and representation of white supremacy as an ideology... We allow praise, support and representation of white nationalism as an ideology... We allow praise, support and representation of white separatism as an ideology."

Facebook's reasoning for this distinction rests in their belief that white nationalism and separatism don't "seem to be always associated with racism (at least not explicitly)."

The revelation that this is Facebook's official position between different tapestries that ultimately weave into white racial politics is cause for alarm, and few have been silent on it. The story of "Facebook reviewing its policies on white nationalism" is being published all across the Internet, amplified by commentary from civil rights organizations.

The Stop Hate Project, formed in 1963 at the request of President Kennedy while the Civil Rights Movement was ramping up, has confronted Facebook on this topic as well, sending the tech giant correspondence that noted Facebook's position was at odds with the central tenet of Brown v. Board of Education and highlighting the logical flaws that exist within it:

"By attempting to distinguish white supremacy from white nationalism and white separatism, Facebook ignores centuries of history, legal precedent, and expert scholarship that all establish that white nationalism and white separatism are white supremacy. Indeed, when we met with your company this summer, both our staff as well as the staff at Facebook, were unable to identify an example of white nationalism or white separatism that was not white supremacist."

Therein lies the problem. One cannot stand in opposition to white supremacy, but give white nationalism and separatism a pass. They are differing means to the same end. While nationalism is the establishment of white identity, historically coinciding with delusions of racial superiority, which is white supremacy.

White separatism advocates for the segregation of white people from those of other races, as well as the establishment of an all-white homeland, and historically coincides with delusions of white supremacy. The three ideologies are that codependent.

At the end of the day, while there is at least some effort on Facebook's part to make a stab at taking a stand against racist rhetoric while balancing free speech, they chose a poor way to do so. But, the ends do not justify the means.

 

Robert Franklin

Posted on September 20, 2018 12:13

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Source: TechCrunch

In an ongoing series over at Motherboard , we’re learning quite a bit about how Facebook polices hate speech and hate...

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