Aug 29, 2020 - Economy

Zuckerberg: Facebook made an “operational mistake” by not removing Kenosha militia page

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking in Germany in February.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking in Germany in February. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook made an “operational mistake” by not removing the page of a militia group that posted a call to arms in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the company’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a company Q&A.

Why it matters: Buzzfeed News reported Friday that the page for the Kenosha Guard militia group and its "Armed Citizens to Protect Our Lives and Property" event listing was flagged to Facebook moderators at least 455 times after its creation.

The event was organized in response to protests set off by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, who is now paralyzed.

  • The social media company said on Wednesday it had removed the page and event listing because they violated the company’s policy against “militia organizations," according to Reuters.

What he's saying: Zuckerberg said Friday that the company received complaints from “a bunch of people” about the Kenosha Guard post.

  • “The contractors and reviewers who the initial complaints were funneled to basically didn’t pick this up,” Zuckerberg said. “And on second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that’s responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”

The big picture: Wisconsin prosecutors charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse with six counts related to the shooting deaths of two people and wounding of one during protests in Kenosha on Tuesday.

  • Zuckerberg said Facebook did not find evidence that Rittenhouse followed the Kenosha Guard page.
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