Last March, Facebook’s reputation was at its worst amid the company’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, leading to a senate hearing and users threatening to #DeleteFacebook.
The hashtag inspired many, including the co-founder of Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, to get rid of their data-breached profiles once and for all.
One year later, Mark Zuckerberg and the folks at Facebook are attempting to fulfill their promise to “do better,” including an overhaul of the company’s much-criticized privacy policies.
In recent weeks, the plan’s roll-out has included everything from a crackdown on anti-vaxxer content to combating revenge porn. Now the platform has finally addressed the elephant in the room by vowing to ban “white nationalism” and “white separatism” from its pages in the upcoming week. As Motherboard first reported, while Facebook had already banned “white supremacy” on its network of services in 2018, it went on to ignore the aforementioned adjacent ideologies until the recent Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attack.
In an announcement post titled “Standing Against Hate” following the report, Facebook said it will ban “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram.”
This policy’s plan will include using AI tools to find and remove certain hateful keywords, such as the example given “heil Hitler,” throughout the company’s platforms. “Over the past few years we have improved our ability to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to find material from terrorist groups,” the release said.
These tools, Facebook stated, will also help lead astray souls searching for racist terms to the light by directing them to nonprofits such as Life After Hate, which provides resources like crisis intervention and education for former hate group members.
The white nationalism ban also comes at the heels of Wall Street’s worried predictions that Zuckerberg’s plan to “fix Facebook” will cost it financially.
Still, it seems its overflowing practices are proving to be too untamable for the company. Just today, the company was slapped with a lawsuit by the U.S. government regarding discrimination via its housing ads, violating the Fair Housing Act. Whether Facebook’s current rehab campaign will bring back those who opted to delete their accounts remains to be seen, but from the looks of it, Zuckerberg isn’t ready to give up on getting them back just yet.