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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.

Go deeper

More than 20,000 users submit cases to Facebook oversight board

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More than 20,000 people have submitted cases to Facebook's independent Oversight Board since the board started accepting user appeals in October, the organization announced Monday, and it has selected six initial cases for review.

Why it matters: The number of submissions speaks to the multitude of people who feel the platform's moderation of their content has wronged them. The tiny number of cases getting reviewed speaks to the limits of human oversight on a platform the size of Facebook, as well as to the novelty of the board's process and the complex nature of the cases chosen.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

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