Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has pledged to remove all threats of racism, hate crimes, and neo-Nazis from Facebook, in regards to the violence in Charlottesville, VA. People seem to have taken to Facebook in order to create hate groups online and Zuckerberg has stated that the company will be “watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm.”
The company has taken note that neo-Nazi and white supremacist rallies have been planned through these hate groups. Zuckerberg states that though the company won’t always be perfect, users have his word that the company will be working diligently in order to make Facebook a safe platform for anyone to use. Zuckerberg later went on to lament his disappointment, stating that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong, even though it should be obvious. Facebook has always had policies against hate speech and threats, but removing the amount of posts and users on Facebook who incite these kinds of speech can be a slow task.
Facebook also seems to be receiving criticism about how it is now taking the reports of threats and hate speech more seriously, since Zuckerberg released his message four days after the death of counter-protestor Heather Heyer only after other chief executives released their messages regarding the incident. Afterwards, Facebook began cleaning their website of any posts regarding neo-Nazis, hate speech, violent threats, and racism. The site even removed all links and posts relating to the neo-Nazi website known as The Daily Stormer, which promoted neo-Nazis, racism, hate speech, and had been bashing Heather Heyer after her death. The website recently had its web hosting cancelled by GoDaddy, Google, and even CloudFlare, a website big on free speech.
Facebook is only one of many popular chat websites that has begun a zero tolerance policy on hate speech such as Discord, Twitter, GoFundMe, and Airbnb. Zuckerberg had this to say in regard to his website and other websites taking a stand against white supremacy, neo-Nazis, and hate speech: “It’s important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas. Debate is part of a healthy society. But when someone tries to silence others or attacks them based on who they are or what they believe, that hurts us all and is unacceptable.
“There may always be some evil in the world, and maybe we can’t do anything about that. But there’s too much polarization in our culture, and we can do something about that. There’s not enough balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse, and I believe we can do something about that. We need to bring people closer together, and I know we can make progress at that.”
With social media CEOs taking a stand against the rallies of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, hopefully this will lead to eradicating the two horrible beliefs for good.
Featured Image via Flickr/b_d_solis