In the wake of the deadly attack against two mosques in New Zealand, police officers sit in their vehicle out side the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque in Philadelphia, ahead of prayers Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/AP
In the wake of the deadly attack against two mosques in New Zealand, police officers sit in their vehicle out side the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque in Philadelphia, ahead of prayers Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Now playing
02:20
Suspect's manifesto part of a disturbing pattern
Shutterstock
Now playing
02:38
FTC antitrust complaint against Facebook dismissed by judge
Getty Images
Now playing
04:16
Emails show frustration over Facebook's handling of election lies
CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:01
Facebook VP: We are applying the most severe penalty we have on Trump
Getty Images
Now playing
01:41
Trump suspended from Facebook until 2023
Getty Images
Now playing
02:25
Facebook changes policy on Covid-19 origin claims
Now playing
02:37
Facebook Oversight Board: Indefinite suspension of Trump's account is 'not appropriate'
Facebook Trump board Welker Psaki White House response _00005421.png
Facebook Trump board Welker Psaki White House response _00005421.png
Now playing
01:56
White House responds to question about Facebook's decision on Trump
Now playing
04:11
Facebook decision 'is wait and see,' says former public policy director
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28:  Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:32
CNN correspondent: This is a nightmare situation for Facebook
Facebook
Getty Images
Facebook
Now playing
03:14
More than 500 million Facebook users' personal data leaked online
Energy and Commerce Committee/YouTube
Now playing
02:50
US lawmakers question tech CEOs on misinformation
TOPSHOT - A demonstrator wearing a mask painted with the colours of the flag of East Turkestan and a hand bearing the colours of the Chinese flag attends a protest of supporters of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and Turkish nationalists to denounce China's treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims during a deadly riot in July 2009 in Urumqi, in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, on July 5, 2018. - Nearly 200 people died during a series of violent riots that broke out on July 5, 2009 over several days in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China, between Uyghurs and Han people. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
OZAN KOSE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A demonstrator wearing a mask painted with the colours of the flag of East Turkestan and a hand bearing the colours of the Chinese flag attends a protest of supporters of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and Turkish nationalists to denounce China's treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims during a deadly riot in July 2009 in Urumqi, in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, on July 5, 2018. - Nearly 200 people died during a series of violent riots that broke out on July 5, 2009 over several days in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China, between Uyghurs and Han people. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:16
Facebook: Chinese hackers targeted Uyghurs living in US
Chris, a Trump supporter, reacts to a fact check of a manipulated video shared by the Trump campaign.
CNN
Chris, a Trump supporter, reacts to a fact check of a manipulated video shared by the Trump campaign.
Now playing
03:58
What Trump supporters see on their Facebook feeds
Now playing
02:24
Under questioning, Zuckerberg admits Instagram was a 'competitor'
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:21
This is how Facebook kills its competition
New York CNN Business —  

Facebook announced Wednesday that it would ban all “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” on Facebook and Instagram.

The move came less than two weeks after the suspect in the terror attack at two New Zealand mosques streamed the massacre live on the platform. A manifesto allegedly written by the suspect reveals white nationalist views.

Facebook (FB) said while it had long prohibited hateful treatment of people based on race, it hadn’t applied the same rationale to white nationalism, “because we were thinking about broader concepts of nationalism and separatism — things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity.”

It said it had reconsidered that after “conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world” who said, according to Facebook, “that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.”

Over the past three months, Facebook said it had more than 20 conversations with civil rights groups and experts in race relations across the US, Europe, and Africa.

Among the groups Facebook consulted was the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“It took a lot of hard work to get Facebook to where they are today. But the hard work lies ahead, we will be watching closely how they implement the policy,” Kristen Clarke, the group’s president and executive director, told CNN Business after Facebook’s announcement on Wednesday.

Clarke said that Facebook’s previous policy allowed white supremacists to abuse the platform and that her group had been talking to the company about a policy change for several months.

A message Facebook says it will show users who search for terms it says are associated with white supremacy
from Facebook
A message Facebook says it will show users who search for terms it says are associated with white supremacy

The attack in New Zealand, Clarke said, “underscores the urgency here. It’s exhibit A in how violent white supremacists abuse the Facebook platform to promote their dangerous, fatal activities.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praised Facebook’s decision during a recent press conference but said there is “more work to do.”

“Arguably these categories should always fall within the community guidelines of hate speech, but nevertheless it’s positive the clarification has now been made in the wake of the attack in Christchurch,” Ardern said.

Facebook said it will start directing people who search for terms associated with white supremacy to organizations that help people leave hate groups.

The company is currently undergoing a “civil rights audit,” a project Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says is one of her top priorities for 2019.

Update: This story was updated to include a quote from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.