Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, vowing to take down threats and hate speech on the social network in the aftermath of violent protests in Charlottesville.
The tech mogul wrote in a post on Facebook that the last few days have been “hard to process.”
“I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life,” Zuckerberg wrote. “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.”
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Zuckerberg’s remarks came a day after President Donald Trump was criticized for saying that “both sides” — white supremacists and the “alt left,” — were to blame for the violence that erupted in Charlottesville. Not all the demonstrators who came to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee were neo-Nazis and white supremacists, he told reporters in a press conference Tuesday.
Tech firms, including Facebook, have been tackling hate speech related to the Charlottesville rally, but they also have to balance free speech concerns. And Facebook has been accused before of suppressing conservative news or mistakenly pulling down posts that call out racism.
Zuckerberg wrote that with the potential for more rallies following the violence in Charlottesville, the tech firm is “watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm.”
Since the protests over the weekend, Facebook has already taken down a number of accounts, pages and posts from white supremacists. It also removed the event page for the “Unite the Right” rally over the weekend because of a threat of real-world harm and its link to hate groups.
“Debate is part of a healthy society,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But 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.”
Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Kirstina Sangsahachart/ Daily News)
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