Pressure mounts on Facebook to ban racist content

Pressure mounts on Facebook to ban racist content

COLLEGE PARK, MD (WUSA9/USA TODAY) - The murder of a Bowie State student visiting the University of Maryland is adding to the pressure on social media platforms like Facebook to filter and ban racist content.

The suspect in the murder of Richard Collins III was a member of a closed white nationalist Facebook group called "Alt-Reich: Nation." The FBI is now investigation the possibility accused killer Sean Urbanski committed a hate crime.

RELATED: UMD student charged, Bowie State student identified in fatal stabbing

On social media, many called on Facebook to remove other Alt-Reich Facebook groups.

The calls on Facebook to better deal with hate groups comes on the heels of a report published Monday about how Facebook moderates content. 

The report from The Guardian cites "more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts," providing insight into how Facebook chooses which content you will see.

A key example is what comments are deemed "credible violence." For example, Facebook's policies would allow someone to write "let's beat up fat kids" but not "someone shoot Trump."

In a 2013 online post, Facebook reiterated that it has to make hard choices "and balance concerns about free expression and community respect." 

"We prohibit content deemed to be directly harmful, but allow content that is offensive or controversial," Facebook said in a post. "We define harmful content as anything organizing real world violence, theft, or property destruction, or that directly inflicts emotional distress on a specific private individual (e.g. bullying)."

Collins, a Bowie State University student, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army days before the attack. He was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State on Tuesday.

WUSA9 / USA Today


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