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Neo-Nazis are using Facebook and Instagram to sell extremist gear

Apparently some of it doesn't violate the social network's community standards.

Sva Stone's T-shirt for children, posted on Facebook. It reads, "White Baby -- the future of our race."

Sva Stone's T-shirt for children, posted on Facebook. It reads, "White Baby -- the future of our race."

Screenshot by Marrian Zhou/CNET

Facebook and its Instagram photo service remain popular places for neo-Nazis and white supremacists to sell merchandise championing an ethnostate, according to a report.

Children's T-shirts bearing slogans such as "White baby -- the future of our race" and magazines supporting Nazi ideology are available on the social networks, HuffPost reported on Thursday. 

Facebook reportedly removed White Rex, a Russian-owned neo-Nazi brand, from its platform last month, but HuffPost said it's still selling on Instagram -- Facebook's subsidiary. Other white supremacist brands found on Facebook include Ukraine's Sva Stone, Germany's Ansgar Aryan and Pride France, according to HuffPost.

"We previously unpublished the White Rex Facebook Page for violating our Community Standards for Hate Speech. Sometimes when we take down a Page, group or Instagram account for violating our standards, we see new ones set up, oftentimes for the same purpose," a Facebook spokesperson said in an email statement. "The three Pages and the Instagram account have now been removed."

None of the brands mentioned in this story immediately returned requests for comment.

The presence of neo-Nazi and white supremacist merchandise on Facebook underscores the social networks continuing difficulty in determining where it draws the line for extremist users. Extremists often use variations of Nazi iconography or coded references, HuffPost reported, an apparent attempt to avoid violating Facebook policies against dangerous individuals and organizations.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stirred controversy himself by saying Holocaust deniers shouldn't be removed from Facebook because, he said, "I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong." He later clarified, saying the company's goal is "not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue -- but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services."

Facebook is doubling its security and content review teams from 10,000 people to 20,000 people this year, according to a Facebook spokesperson. Specialists on child safety, counterterrorism and hate speech are also added.

The social network isn't the only tech giant struggling with extremist merchandise. Amazon and eBay banned sales of Confederate flag merchandise on their platforms earlier in June because of public complaints.

In July, US Rep. Keith Ellison also asked Amazon to remove neo-Nazi and white nationalist books and ebooks from its platform.

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