March 29, 2019

Facebook: Racially Defining Hate

Facebook’s latest actions serve to reinforce the leftist redefinition of racism.

Following the recent New Zealand mosque massacre in which a self-proclaimed white supremacist murdered 50 people, Facebook this week updated its “hate speech” rules to ban so-called “white nationalism” and “white separatism.” The social-media giant had previously banned “white supremacy” from its platforms — Facebook and Instagram — but had allowed explicit content from white nationalists and white separatists. So, why the change?

Brian Fishman, policy director of counterterrorism at Facebook, explained, “We’ve had conversations with more than 20 members of civil society, academics, in some cases these were civil rights organizations, experts in race relations from around the world. We decided that the overlap between white nationalism, [white] separatism, and white supremacy is so extensive we really can’t make a meaningful distinction between them. And that’s because the language and the rhetoric that is used and the ideology that it represents overlaps to a degree that it is not a meaningful distinction.”

While Facebook will now ban explicitly white nationalist and separatist content — for example, phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist” — the company will not immediately attempt to detect or police implicit or coded white nationalist and separatist content.

There are several interesting issues presented by Facebook’s action here, and few easy answers. The biggest and most obvious problem is the question about freedom of speech. Since Facebook is a private company, it’s free to set its own policy rules for any users of its platform. And, for the most part, conservatives have long agreed with this premise. However, as Facebook has grown to completely dominate the social-media landscape, there’s another question: Has the company become essentially a monopoly, and is it therefore in the position to effectively control the speech rights of others? Sen. Elizabeth Warren pitched a little trust-busting for that very reason.

But there’s also the problem of redefining racism as a “white only” problem. In fact, racism is a human condition that affects all races and ethnicities. Unfortunately, Facebook’s actions single out only white nationalism and separatism as racist “hate-speech,” while at the same time other explicitly racist groups, such as the Basque separatists and worldwide black separatist movements, are given a pass by the company. Facebook, in its press release, tried to defend these non-white racist ideologies by claiming that they’re merely “an important part of people’s identity.”

So, once again, the Left demonstrates that if it weren’t for double standards, they wouldn’t have any at all. But it’s actions like these that leave conservatives — who have long fought against real racism in all its forms — shaking their heads in dismay.

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