hate speech

The U.S. has long exported its culture abroad — think Coca-Cola, Hollywood and hip-hop. Facebook was once praised for spreading free-speech values. But the world is pushing back with different values, which Facebook is importing to the U.S. with the company's ban on white extremist content.

Facebook announced on Wednesday that starting next week, it will begin banning white nationalism and white separatism content on its platforms. That includes its popular photo-sharing app, Instagram.

Without the work of social media moderators, your timelines and news feeds would feel a lot darker.

"There are people in the world who spend a lot of time just sort of uploading the worst of humanity onto Facebook and Instagram," Casey Newton, the Silicon Valley editor for The Verge, said in an interview with NPR's Scott Simon.

And the moderators contracted by Facebook are on the front lines of this fight. (Facebook is a financial supporter of NPR.)

YouTube, Apple and Facebook have removed main outlets for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars website, citing repeated violations of policies against hate speech and glorifying violence. Infowars responded by accusing the companies of censorship.

The streaming service Spotify also expanded a ban imposed last week on some of Jones' content, saying Monday that "The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform."

On Sunday, Apple and iTunes deleted five podcasts related to Infowars and Jones. The other bans then piled up in quick succession.

Amazon says it removed several items of racist propaganda from its store in response to questions from a Democratic lawmaker — though white supremacist literature and other propaganda items remain widely available on the site.

After criticism from advocacy groups and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison about the availability of Nazi-themed toys and baby onesies with pictures of burning crosses on Amazon's website, the company said this week that it had removed several items and banned sellers who had violated its policies.

Starbucks has an ambitious plan to try to address discrimination and unconscious bias by training nearly 175,000 of its workers one afternoon later this month.

The Anti-Defamation League has identified 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents in its 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. That's up from 1,267 in 2016, marking the highest single-year increase since the organization released its first audit in 1979.