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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.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

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