Facebook announced an update of its civil rights policies. Over a year ago the social media giant began an audit of its policies lead by Laura Murphy, a civil rights and civil liberties leader. She and her team, including civil rights law firm Relman, Dane & Colfax, engaged over 90 civil rights organizations to create the policies. The latest report highlights updates in four areas including:

  1. Strengthening their policies and enforcement against harmful content
  2. Fighting discrimination in Facebook ads
  3. Protecting the 2020 Census and elections against intimidation
  4. Formalizing Facebook’s civil rights task force

We can expect a wider crackdown on white supremacists. The audit recommends taking action against white nationalism and separatism even when those terms aren’t referenced by name, and Facebook will follow suit by spotting “slogans and symbols” linked to those hate movements.

In a company blog post, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said that an accurate Census was so crucial that the company would give it the same weight that it now gives elections. “We’re going to treat next year’s Census like an election — with people, policies, and technology in place to protect against Census interference,” said Sandberg.

The report also addressed enforcement of designated hate figures. Under their “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy, individuals or organizations that amplify or traffic in hate are banned from the platform, as was the case with Facebook’s recent bans of Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopolous, Laura Loomer, Minister Louis Farrakhan and others. For individuals or organizations that go beyond amplifying hate to proclaiming a violent or hateful mission or engaging in acts of hate or violence, Facebook not only bans them from the platform but also prohibits other users from praising or supporting them.

For more, visit Facebook’s updated Civil Rights Audit Progress Report.

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