Facebook deleting violent racist posts in wake of Charlottesville

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated Aug. 17, 2017 at 6:17 PM
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Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, said the social media giant is actively removing pages advocating racism and anti-Semitism in the wake of the weekend's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, posted on his personal Facebook page that he was appalled by the racist assembly in Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed when a vehicle driven by a 20-year-old Ohio man who had previously expressed neo Nazi sympathies ploughed into a group of people, killing Heather Hoyer, 32.

"The last few days have been hard to process," Zuckerberg wrote. "I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it's something I've wondered much of my life. 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."

He said Facebook would continue to enforce its existing policy of removing pages that advocate racism or promote acts of terrorism, adding the company would be on special watch for pages that advocate violence similar to what happened in Virginia.

Specifically, the company said it would delete any posts celebrating Hoyer's death.

"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," Zuckerberg said. "There is no place for hate in our community. That's why we've always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism -- including what happened in Charlottesville."

Various social media companies have faced criticism for failing to censor or remove content that edges into extremist ideologies. Groups such as the Islamic State have turned to the digital world to recruit members and spread propaganda.

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