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Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg speaks out about ‘white supremacists’ in Charlottesville

“Along with millions of others, I was so heartbroken this weekend.”

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2016
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Fortune

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has published a statement about this weekend’s violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists and those protesting them clashed.

“Every generation has to be vigilant in fighting against the type of bigotry and hatred that was displayed by the white supremacists in Charlottesville,” Sandberg wrote in a post where she also mentioned the difficulties of discussing the Holocaust with her daughter. “Along with millions of others, I was so heartbroken this weekend.”

Sandberg called out Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old demonstrator who was killed when a white nationalist rammed his car into a group of protestors.

“The brave Heather Heyer’s mother Susan Bro said she wanted her daughter’s ‘death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion,’” Sandberg wrote. “Let’s honor her by teaching all of our children how to honor and respect those values.”

Sandberg’s condemnation of white nationalism does not necessarily reflect Facebook’s official stance. The social network officially bans “organized hate groups,” and said that it is actively removing posts “that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville.”

But Facebook still operates a platform that supports all opinions, including those that support the idea of white supremacy.

Yesterday on our way to camp, my daughter and I were reading the book for our mother-daughter book club. Part of the...

Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Monday, August 14, 2017

Update: Facebook reached out to clarify that it does not allow white supremacist groups to operate on its platform and has removed the "White Nationalists United" group that we linked to earlier.

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