Facebook bans white nationalist groups after criticism

Facebook on Monday banned a batch of Canadian white nationalist groups from its platform after facing criticism for declining to remove a post by white nationalist commentator Faith Goldy. 

HuffPost last week reported that Facebook declined to take down a video in which Goldy accused people of color and Jews of "replacing" white populations in Europe, the United States and Canada. The tech giant at the time said Goldy's rhetoric did not violate Facebook's new policies against white nationalist and white separatist content

In a statement on Monday, a Facebook spokesperson said the company has removed Goldy and other prominent white nationalist groups and individuals from Facebook and Instagram.

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Goldy, Kevin Goudreau, the Canadian Nationalist Front, Aryan Strikeforce, Wolves of Odin, and Soldiers of Odin are now banned from having any presence on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has pledged to remove any affiliates with those groups and figures. 

"Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on our services," the Facebook spokesperson said. "That's why we have a policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, which states that we do not allow those who are engaged in offline ‘organized hate’ to have a presence on Facebook."

"The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on our services," the spokesperson added.

Facebook last month announced that it will begin banning white nationalist or white separatist content on its platform, but the Canadian white nationalist groups were removed under Facebook's policies against hate groups that organize on the platform.

Facebook's new policy on white nationalist content came a year after Motherboard, a tech news outlet, reported that Facebook's content moderation had allowed "white nationalism and separatism" on the platform, though it barred explicit "white supremacy."

Facebook is facing escalating scrutiny over white extremism on its platform after a shooter in New Zealand livestreamed himself shooting worshippers at a mosque last month.  

"Our work against organized hate is on-going and we will continue to review individuals, Pages, groups and content against our Community Standards," the company spokesperson said.