How is it that at the same time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in front of Congress giving testimony that said his company does “not allow hate groups” on its platform, white nationalist and king of the “alt-right” Richard Spencer managed to have not one, but two pages representing his hate ideology active on the site?
That is the exact question Vice News had when it brought the pages for Spencer’s National Policy Institute and online magazine AltRight.com to the company’s attention.
Spencer is the “brains” behind the phrase “alt-right,” which the Associated Press defines as “[a] political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.”
My colleague at The Root, and fellow staff writer, Michael Harriot describes the “alt-right” as “respectability racism,” or “a way to be racist without buying swastika armband or white hood,” which is pretty damn accurate.
In any case, Spencer’s National Policy Institute advocates for a white “ethnostate.” Its Facebook page had 4,000 followers. The page for AltRight.com had more than 10,000 followers.
When Vice News brought the pages to Facebook’s attention, they were immediately removed.
In a statement, Facebook said that organized hate groups are not allowed to have a presence on its platform, and that the company uses human monitors, technology that identifies hate speech, and partnerships with organizations to filter out hate groups.
Yet even with that, Spencer’s group—which is one of the most prominent white nationalist groups in America—still managed to have a presence on Facebook.
Sounds a lot like Twitter.