In a companywide meeting on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that a militia page advocating for followers to bring weapons to an upcoming protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, remained on the platform because of “an operational mistake.” The page and an associated event inspired widespread criticism of the company after a 17-year-old suspect allegedly shot and killed two protesters Tuesday night.
The event associated with the Kenosha Guard page, however, was flagged to Facebook at least 455 times after its creation, according to an internal report viewed by BuzzFeed News, and had been cleared by four moderators, all of whom deemed it “non-violating.” The page and event were eventually removed from the platform on Wednesday — several hours after the shooting.
“To put that number into perspective, it made up 66% of all event reports that day,” one Facebook worker wrote in the internal “Violence and Incitement Working Group” to illustrate the number of complaints the company had received about the event.
The internal report seen by BuzzFeed News reveals the extent to which concerned Facebook users went to warn the company of a group calling for public violence, and how the company failed to act. “The event is highly unusual in retrospect,” reads the report, which notes that the next highest event for the day had been flagged 18 times by users compared to the 455 times of the Kenosha Guard event.
During Facebook’s Thursday all-hands meeting, Zuckerberg said that the images from Wisconsin were “painful and really discouraging,” before acknowledging that the company had made a mistake in not taking the Kenosha Guard page and event down sooner. The page had violated Facebook’s new rules introduced last week that labeled militia and QAnon groups as “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” for their celebrations of violence.
The company did not catch the page despite user reports, Zuckerberg said, because the complaints had been sent to content moderation contractors who were not versed in “how certain militias” operate. “On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that was responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”
During the talk, Facebook employees hammered Zuckerberg for continuing to allow the spread of hatred on the platform.
“At what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?” wrote one employee. “[A]nti-semitism, conspiracy, and white supremacy reeks across our services.”
All the complaints in the world from Facebook employees who matter, the algorithm folks and the ad folks, not the moderators, start leaving over this, or perhaps when they start demanding concrete actions, like the removal Facebook’s vice president of global public policy Joel Kaplan, who is the most aggressive support of violent white supremacists in the organization.
Kaplan is arguably the most powerful supporter of those who promulgate right-wing violent stochastic terrorism of anyone in the USA.
He is a clear and present danger to public safety and to the Republic.*
He is also a Shanda fur die Goyim.†
*Please not that I am not calling him a רוֹדֵף (rodef), literally a pursuer who is required under Halacha to be stoped by any means necessary, including lethal force. It would be irresponsible for me to call him a He is a רוֹדֵף (rodef). It would be irresponsible for anyone to call another person a רוֹדֵף (rodef). It is an explicit call for the murder of another individual.
† Yiddish for a, “Shame before the nations,” meaning that this person is an embarrassment to the whole Jewish people.