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Oscar Williams

News editor

Charlottesville: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will remove threats of physical harm

Mark Zuckerberg has outlined Facebook’s response to white supremacist violence in the wake of a far-right rally that led to the killing of a civil rights activist last weekend.

The CEO said on Wednesday that the social network is watching the situation closely and removing threats of physical harm and any content that promotes hate crime.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, was killed and nearly 20 people were wounded when a car ploughed into counter-protesters at the rally in Charlottesville on Saturday.

The event had been publicised through a page on Facebook that was removed a day before it took place, Business Insider reported.

Responding to the violence, Zuckerberg said in a post that there is no place for hate on Facebook: “That’s why we’ve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville.”

“With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm,” he added.

The Facebook founder also appeared to criticise Donald Trump’s response to the violence, but did not name the president.

“It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious,” Zuckerberg wrote.

His remarks came as Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, explicitly criticised Trump’s comments.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” he said.

“Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” he added.

Cook said Apple would donate $1m to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League, while also matching two-for-one employee donations to a range of human rights groups.