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Facebook removes Pages of two groups run by Richard Spencer

Apparently white nationalism qualifies as hate speech.
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TNS via Getty Images

Earlier this week, during his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Mark Zuckerberg responded to a question from Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) about hate groups by saying, "We do not allow hate groups on Facebook, overall. So, if there's a group that their primary purpose or a large part of what they do is spreading hate, we will ban them from the platform, overall." But while that may be the policy, it has proven to be a bit difficult to implement. Following that testimony, Vice News found that a number of organizations the Southern Poverty Law Center considers to be hate groups still had Facebook presences, including two linked to white nationalist Richard Spencer. After Vice approached the platform about them, Spencer's Pages were taken down.

The Pages in question belong to the National Policy Institute, Altright.com -- both of which are run by Spencer -- and The Nationalist Initiative, a spinoff of another group connected to the Charlottesville rally. Vice asked Facebook about "several other prominent hate groups" and as of this afternoon, these three Pages had been taken down while others remain functional.

In recent months, a number of companies have removed groups or individuals for hate speech, and for racism in particular. Google, Facebook, Reddit, Squarespace, Spotify, OkCupid and Twitter are among those that have done so. In 2016, Twitter temporarily suspended Spencer from its platform, though his account is currently active.

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