Tech companies continue efforts to banish extremist accounts

Tech companies’ efforts to banish extremist groups and individuals are continuing as a social network popular with extremists disappeared from Google’s Android app store.

Gab had already been unavailable in Apple’s store, though it remains accessible on the web.

The banishments come in the wake of the deadly clash at a white-nationalist rally last weekend in Virginia. Civil rights advocates welcomed the moves, but say more needs to be done — and more should have been done earlier.

Here is a look at some of the technology services that have banned hate groups or have otherwise come out against white supremacists and their supporters:

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AIRBNB

Ahead of the rally, the housing booking service Airbnb barred rentals to people it believed were traveling to participate. The company said it used its existing background checks and “input from the community” to identify users who didn’t align with its standards.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook removed several groups and individuals from its service and Instagram for what it calls violations of terms banning hate speech. Groups included Vanguard America, Physical Removal and Genuine Donald Trump. The company uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human moderators to weed out groups, posts and people that violate its policies. Spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja acknowledges this is a difficult task, as determining what is hate speech is more difficult than something like a beheading video or child pornography.

Twitter, meanwhile, appears to have suspended the account for neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, though the company doesn’t comment on individual accounts.

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APP STORES

Google has removed Gab, a social network that extremists flocked to, for “hate speech,” Gab tweeted. Gab’s logo is a green cartoon frog, reminiscent of “Pepe the Frog,” the internet meme that’s become a symbol of the “alt-right,” a fringe movement that’s known for its racist, anti-Semitic and sexist views.

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SERVICE PROVIDERS

The Daily Stormer’s publisher said he has been effectively “banned from the internet” after mocking the victim of a deadly car attack during the protests in Charlottesville. Andrew Anglin said by email he is “figuring out the next step” after four domain registration companies refused to service his site. GoDaddy and Google said earlier that the site violated their terms of service. After briefly reappearing under a Russian domain name, the site was again offline Wednesday after…

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