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An armed civilian stands in the streets of Kenosha during the third day of protests over a police shooting. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

After users flagged a Facebook event page for a militia counterprotest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the page, filled with comments promoting violence, vanished from the social network. Facebook told the world it had taken down both the event page and the group that sponsored it.

Yes, but: As BuzzFeed News reports, the group itself had deleted the event page before Facebook shut the group down. That contradicts what CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a company meeting soon after the controversy, as the company now concedes.

The big picture: What matters most here is that Facebook left the event page up even after hundreds of users reported it. Before the company took any action, two protesters who had been marching over the police shooting of Jacob Blake lay dead.

  • A 17-year-old armed with a rifle is charged with their murder.
  • Facebook says the accused, Kyle Rittenhouse, did not belong to the militia group or RSVP for the event.

The bottom line: By botching this announcement and taking credit for doing more than it had, Facebook has once more hurt its credibility.

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook says very few people actually see hate speech on its platform

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content to its platform globally last quarter and about 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram. On both platforms, it says about 95% of that hate speech was proactively identified and stopped by artificial intelligence.

Details: In total, the company says that there are 10–11 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content uploaded to the site globally — or .1%. It calls this metric — how much problematic content it doesn't catch compared to how much is reported and removed — "prevalence."

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.