Monday, 25 March 2019 11:36

Facebook shields neo-Nazi groups despite complaints Featured

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Facebook shields neo-Nazi groups despite complaints Pixabay

Facebook is not removing neo-Nazi groups from the site because they do not violate its "community standards", an investigation by a British newspaper has found.

The Independent  reported that even when pages operated by white supremacist organisations like Combat 18 and the Misanthropic Division were reported to the social media juggernaut, it simply did not remove the pages and those who reported them to stop following the pages if they were found to be offensive.

It said it had seen a report by the group Counter Extremist Project that indicated Facebook had offered similar responses to pages for chapters of Be Active Front USA, a skinhead group, and the neo-Nazi British Movement.

Facebook has come under renewed pressure to regulate the content available on the site after a terrorist who killed 50 Muslims in a New Zealand mosque on 15 March live-streamed his assault on the defenceless worshippers.

The video of the killings was taken down only after about an hour, by which time it had been duplicated and posted to thousands of other websites. The video of the killings is still available on the Internet.

Google and Twitter also came in for criticism because the video was uploaded to YouTube and linked off numerous Twitter accounts.

The Independent said Facebook was unwilling to remove a page used by the Greek wing of Combat 18 even though the main picture showed a man standing in front a wall painted with a swastika and giving a Nazi salute.

CEP senior director Hans-Jakob Schindler told the paper that hate groups were being allowed to build echo chambers.

“Facebook services a third of the world’s population [2.32 billion monthly active users], it’s the biggest platform there is,” he added. “But the company’s business model is content on the platform, not content off the platform, [so] unless there is clear, sustained public pressure on the right-wing extremism issue, we will not see significant progress.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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