Facebook overturned its statement that it took action to take on a now-infamous Kenosha militia incident shared shortly before a fatal shooting during protests in Wisconsin.
According to a Bozfeed report, an event posted by the Kenosa Guard Facebook group, not from Facebook, was taken over by the page’s moderators and Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said the company had taken down the page for violating its “Dangerous Persons and Organizations” policy regarding military organizations. Facebook initially claimed that the incident had been removed by Facebook, but it was actually the moderators of the page who took down the incident.
A Facebook spokesperson told that they “apologize for the error.”
“When we answered questions about our initial investigation in Kenosha, we considered that we had removed the event page for violations of our policies,” the spokesperson said. “Our investigation found that when we removed the Kenosha Guard page, the event page was removed by the organizer.”
The page was originally created in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake and the subsequent protests.
The Kenosha Guard Facebook event called on its followers to take up arms and “save our city from rogue thugs tonight”.
Page was removed after the arrest of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and a charge of first-degree intentional murder in connection with a shooting during these protests, leaving two dead and one injured. It is unclear how directly linked to the Rittenhouse incident.
Despite failing to separate the incident from Facebook, the social network also ignored several reports from users about the Kenosha Group before protests escalated. According to Buzzfeed, 455 reports were sent to Facebook about the incident page.
At the time, Facebook said the page had not violated its policies, but Zuckerberg has since stated that Facebook’s failure to take action against the incident that incited the violence was an “operational mistake”.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook would develop its own policies and execute its content moderation efforts in videos posted last week. However, Facebook has faced criticism for failing to act quickly against extremism on its platform and is dodging responsibility for how content on Facebook can provoke real-world violence.