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FILE - Facebook logo. According to a court filing, Facebook is under investigation by the IRS. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Facebook started removing the pages of racist groups following the violence in Charlottesville



Facebook has removed the pages of at least eight racist groups since violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, according to a tweet from Buzzfeed reporter Alex Kantrowitz.

Facebook said it banned the following groups: Awakened Masses, Awakening Red Pill, Genuine Donald Trump, Physical Removal, Right Winged Knight, Right Winged Death Squad, Vanguard America and White Nationalists United.

James Fields Jr., the man who allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters Saturday, killing one person and injuring 19 others, was pictured marching with the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America earlier that morning.

The group, whose tweets are now protected, later denied any association with Fields. Vanguard America released a statement saying they handed out the shields "to anyone in attendance who wanted them."

The Hill reports that Facebook also removed the official event page for the white nationalist rally before it was set to being on Aug. 11.

Since the rally, Facebook executives have also publicly spoken out against the violence.

“Every generation has to be vigilant in fighting against the type of bigotry and hatred that was displayed by the white supremacists in Charlottesville," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote. "Along with millions of others, I was so heartbroken this weekend."

Google, GoDaddy and Reddit are among the tech companies that have publicly condemned hate speech.

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