Mark Zuckerberg Promises To Shut Down Hate Groups And Remove Harmful Content On Facebook After Charlottesville
There has been a certain amount of pressure for companies, CEOs, and authorities to speak up after the events at Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally, led by tiki torch-bearing white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and neo-Nazis, advocated to preserve white culture and white life, in the process causing a woman's death and other acts of violence.
Charlottesville Rally Pushes Companies To Make A Stand
While America tries to figure out the implications of such an event, companies such as Discord, PayPal, GoFundMe, and even Tiki have voiced their stances against white nationalists. Facebook too has announced its commitment to making the social media platform a place where everyone can feel safe.
"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," CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on the site Wednesday, Aug. 16.
Facebook Has No Place For Hate: Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg reiterates that Facebook has no place for hate, and that's the reason why the site has always taken down content that celebrates hate crimes and terrorist acts, "including what happened in Charlottesville." Indeed, Facebook has been involved in many controversies surrounding its perceived failure in responding to controversial content on the site, especially those of a sexual or violent nature.
It's no question, however, that Facebook has always promoted policies against hate speech, hate crimes, terrorist propaganda, and violent threats. Zuckerberg's latest pledge is a testament that the company is listening to its criticisms around the speed of its response and action-taking.
Charlottesville Rally Pushback
His post, however, comes four days after the "Unite the Right" rally that killed Heather Heyes and injured many others. But even before the post, Facebook was already on a mission to remove certain content amid Charlottesville, such as a blog post by The Daily Stormer targeting Heyes. The alt-right blog later saw its web hosting canceled by GoDaddy, Google, and CloudFlare.
The events of Charlottesville have left many hurt, confused, and some emboldened. President Donald Trump has received his mountainous share of criticism for his equivocal stance, and some have been demanding him to chastise white nationalists and neo-Nazis outright. His "many sides" comment has caused anger and much head-shaking.
Like many, Zuckerberg doesn't know where this hate comes from.
"As a Jew, it's something I've wondered much of my life," he said.
"It's a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious."
Facebook says it's now watching the situation closely and plans to take down threats of physical harm.