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Facebook removes pages for racist groups after Charlottesville

Facebook removes pages for racist groups after Charlottesville

Facebook removed a number of pages for racist groups following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent.

The company confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that it had removed eight pages since the weekend rally, first noted by BuzzFeed reporter Alex Kantrowitz.

“Our hearts go out to the people affected by the tragic events in Charlottesville,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

“Facebook does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville.”

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The banned groups include White Nationalists United, Right Wing Death Squad and Vanguard America.

James Fields Jr., who attended the nationalist rally, allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters on Saturday, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, and injuring 19 others.

Fields reportedly marched at the rally with Dillon Hopper, who claimed to be a “commander” of Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group.

It is unclear if the removed Facebook page was tied to the official Vanguard America group.

On Friday, before the rally began in Charlottesville, Facebook also took down the official event page.

The company initially had allowed the page but decided as the event neared that it no longer met Facebook’s community standards because it was associated with “hate organizations.”

The company said that it wants people to use Facebook to challenge ideas and organize peacefully, but draws the line when actions could put people in harm's way or involve hate groups.