Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged that there was ‘an operational mistake’ in failing to remove the Kenosha Guard militia page. The page encouraged armed Americans to take to the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, against protestors of Black Lives Matter. The acknowledgment has been made by Zuckerberg in the latest video post. He said that the page clearly violated the policies of Facebook and stayed there for long enough despite being reported by ‘a bunch of people’ before the shooting that left two protestors dead and another injured. However, the CEO has blamed contractors for this failure.
A Facebook page was created by the Kenosha Guard militia in June 2020 and they used a Facebook event this week to invite people to take up arms. “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend out City tonight from the evil thugs,” reads the message referring to people protesting against the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Facebook has acknowledged that both the event as well as the page should have been banned under its new policy regarding groups linked to violence. According to reports, Facebook failed to act despite several users of the social media platform reporting the content to Facebook.
Reacting to it during a weekly meeting with staff, Facebook CEO said that it was largely ‘an operational mistake.’ He said the reviewers and contractors to whom the complaints were initially funneled to ‘basically did not pick this up.’ The social media platform has a trained team that looks after enforcing its ban on such ‘dangerous organizations.’ After the shooting, the reports were sent to the specialized team and both the page and the event were removed. Zuckerberg has stated that no evidence suggests that the alleged shooter had responded to the ‘call to arms’ event on Facebook. He also emphasized that his team is now trying to remove content praising the shooter of the incident of shooting. “Facebook is going to continue to evolve policies in a bid to identify more and more organizations that are potentially dangerous,” he added. The statement has been made amid reports that both Facebook and Instagram failed to keep off content praising the shooter of their platforms.