POLITICS
04/08/2019 11:52 EDT | Updated 04/09/2019 14:17 EDT

Facebook Bans Faith Goldy After HuffPost Report On White Nationalism Content

Last week, Facebook said it was fine with Goldy's content. This week, it banned her and others.

Facebook announced Monday that it was banning prominent Canadian white nationalist Faith Goldy from its platform, a week after the company told HuffPost that her racist videos didn’t violate its new rules barring white nationalist content.

Alongside Goldy, Facebook said it was banning other white nationalists and groups, like Soldiers of Odin, the Canadian Nationalist Front, the Aryan Strikeforce and neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau, BuzzFeed first reported. The ban will also extend to Instagram, which Facebook owns.

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on our services,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Richard Lautens via Getty Images

Just last week, the same spokesperson told HuffPost that an explicitly white nationalist video, published to its platform by Goldy, didn’t violate the company’s rules banning the promotion or praise of white nationalist and separatist content. The spokesperson instead characterized the video ― in which Goldy calls on people of European descent to fight back against “white replacement” and describes Jews and people of color as “invaders” ― as a discussion about immigration and population statistics.

It’s not entirely clear what led to the about-face. Previously, Facebook repeatedly declined to comment on Goldy’s content, which appeared to violate its rules barring white supremacist content, even before those rules were extended to include praise of white nationalism. The company’s reaction to her video last week appeared to be its final word on the matter, and to set some kind of precedent for other extremist profiles.

Asked what changed this week, a Facebook spokesperson declined to address the change directly, saying that the company didn’t want to divulge information about its banning procedures that might help bad actors like Goldy dance around its policies. The spokesperson noted that the company continuously reviews extremist accounts, but didn’t say whether it was HuffPost’s report or another factor that led to the Goldy ban.

The spokesperson noted that hate groups can and will be banned regardless of the content they publish. All of the above groups and profiles will be erased from Instagram and Facebook, along with any affiliated posts or pages, for violating its “organized hate” policy.

“The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on our services,” the spokesperson said in a press release. “Our work against organized hate is on-going and we will continue to review individuals, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”

This has been updated to include additional comments from Facebook.