Starting next week, all comments and posts on Facebook and Instagram that “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” would be blocked, Facebook has said.
It has also promised to enhance its capabilities to increase the potential for identification and blocking of materials posted by terrorist group, said the largest social media company of the world.
The company has also said that those Facebook users who would use search terms and strings that represent offending material would immediately be redirected to the website of a charity organization that fights far-right extremism.
There has been renewed pressure to stop far right activism on its platform following the live streaming of a terrorist incident by a man who was responsible for attacks in two mosques in New Zealand earlier this month.
The previous policy of Facebook gave the opportunity for users to post some comments and materials that the social media company did not consider as being racist which included allowing users to post messages and posts that gave calls for setting up of white ethno-states.
The policy of considering it right to allow posting of white nationalism messages to be an acceptable form of expression because it believed that it was on a par with “things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity”, the company said.
However the company reversed its stance and announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it had undertaken consultations with “members of civil society and academics” for a period three months and ha come to a conclusion that it was not possible to meaningfully separate white nationalism from white supremacy and the activities and intention of organised hate groups.
The social media group was criticised by several world leaders who called on the social media platform running company to take more responsibility for the extremist material that are posted on its social media platforms, following the shootings and killings in mosques earlier this month in New Zealand.
Social networks were “the publisher, not just the postman”, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, while referring to the potential liability of the companies for the material that is shared on the platform run by the companies.
There were more than 4,000 views of the video which portrayed the attack, which left 50 people dead, before it could be taken down, Facebook has previously acknowledged.
The company had managed to block 1.2 million copies at the point of upload and deleted another 300,000 within 24 hours of the incident, Facebook said.
Facebook and YouTube are being sued by a group representing French Muslims over charges that the companies are responsible for allowing posting of the new Zealand killing footage on their platforms.
Steps to clamp down on sharing of the video were taken by other tech groups also. After clips of the attack were shared on the forum, an existing discussion forum on its site called “watchpeopledie” was banned by Reddit.
(Adapted from BBC.com)