Mark Zuckerberg Vows to Remove Hate Speech From Facebook

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Mark Zuckerberg

"With the potential for more rallies, we're watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm," wrote Zuckerberg.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is vowing to take down hate speech from his social media platform in light of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. 

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Zuckerberg committed to actively "keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe."

"With the potential for more rallies, we're watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm," he said.

He acknowledged that a key component of social media is the ability for people to share their beliefs. However, he says, "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, who is Jewish, also said the last few days "have been hard to process" for him. "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.

He ended his post with a call for more "balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse" and said although "there may always be some evil in the world" he is hopeful when it comes to bringing people together, saying, "I know we can make progress at that."

The move comes after similar actions by Google, who on Monday announced it was canceling registration for the white nationalist website The Daily Stormer for violating its terms of service. The site had posted an article mocking Heather Heyer, who was run over and killed at the Charlottesville rally.

Facebook currently defines what it considers to be reportable hate speech as: "Content that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed."

However, the platform does state that it allows "clear attempts at humor or satire that might otherwise be considered a possible threat or attack." This includes content such as "jokes, stand-up comedy, popular song lyrics, etc."

According to a recent Recode report, Twitter declined to comment on its plans, but did point to its rules, which currently state that the social media platform will ban accounts that promote "violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease."

Read the full statement below.

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