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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.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

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