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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook decided Tuesday to ban content that offers praise and support of white nationalism and white separatism on its platform, and it will redirect users who try posting racist content to a nonprofit that urges people to leave hate groups.

Why it matters: Although Facebook previously banned "white supremacy" content, it allowed content promoting "white nationalism" and "white separatism." Civil rights groups maintain that there is no difference between the ideologies, and Facebook's shift comes after considerable pressure from outside groups and reporting from Motherboard and other news organizations.

What they're saying:

"... [W]hite nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups. Our own review of hate figures and organizations — as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organizations policy —further revealed the overlap between white nationalism and separatism and white supremacy. Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism."
— Facebook post headlined "Standing Against Hate"

Flashback: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended a decision last year to not take down a post denying the Holocaust by noting, "These issues are very challenging but I believe that often the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech."

Between the lines: The ban will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to match new content with other content that has been deleted for containing hate material, but it remains to be seen how effective that will be. For instance, coded or implied white nationalism and white separatism content may be more difficult to ferret out, especially given Facebook's scale.

  • Conservative-leaning politicians in the U.S., including President Trump, have been accusing Facebook and other platforms of an anti-conservative bias, and wider policing of far-right content could inflame tensions over how Facebook polices its users.

The details:

  • The policy aims to ban representations, not just praise and support, of white nationalist and white separatist content.
  • In addition to redirecting those who attempt posting white nationalist- and separatist-related content, those who search for content associated with these ideologies will also get a popup directing them to a non profit urging them to leave hate groups.
  • According to Motherboard, COO Sheryl Sandberg helped create the policy, which is set to go live next week.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti Defamation League offer some explainers on the definitions of these ideologies.

Go deeper: Facebook ignites free-speech debate

Go deeper

In photos: St Vincent water supply running low as volcano eruptions continue

La Soufrière volcano erupting in Saint Vincent on April 9. Photo: Zen Punnett/AFP via Getty Images

Water is in short supply in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as La Soufrière volcano continues to explode, government spokesman Sehon Marshall told a local radio station Tuesday.

The big picture: Up to 20,000 people have been evacuated from the Caribbean island’s northern region since the volcano began erupting there last Friday, per AP. Over 3,000 evacuees are staying in more than 80 government shelters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Daunte Wright face off with police near the Brooklyn Center police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Law enforcement and protesters in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center clashed Tuesday night, after demonstrators again defied a curfew to protest for a third straight day the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: It followed two nights of protests and unrest over Wright's death Sunday. Outside the city's police headquarters, law enforcement used "heavy force," with tear gas and flashbangs, per the Star Tribune. Protesters threw objects including water bottles, hitting some officers on their helmets, the outlet notes.

Judge rules in favor of Black officer fired for stopping colleague's chokehold

Former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne said she heard a handcuffed man say he couldn't breathe when a colleague placed him in a chokehold. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

A New York court on Tuesday reinstated the pension of former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne, who was fired for intervening when a white colleague had a Black man in a chokehold during a 2006 arrest.

Driving the news: State Supreme Court Judge Dennis Ward noted in his ruling similar cases, like the death of George Floyd. Ward said the role of other officers at the scene in such instances had come under scrutiny, "particularly their complicity in failing to intervene to save the life of a person to whom such unreasonable physical force is being applied."