Provided to BuzzFeed News
One Facebook user received this response after trying to report the Kenosha Guard Facebook page noting that it did not “go against one of our specific Community Standards.”
Then 2 people were murdered. Note that they always do this. The only things I have ever seen taken down are groups and images of LGBT – especially gay men that they deemed “do not meet community standards.”
In a companywide meeting on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that a militia page advocating for followers to bring weapons to an upcoming protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, remained on the platform because of “an operational mistake.” The page and an associated event inspired widespread criticism of the company after a 17-year-old suspect allegedly shot and killed two protesters Tuesday night.
The event associated with the Kenosha Guard page, however, was flagged to Facebook at least 455 times after its creation, according to an internal report viewed by BuzzFeed News, and had been cleared by four moderators, all of whom deemed it “non-violating.” The page and event were eventually removed from the platform on Wednesday — several hours after the shooting.
“To put that number into perspective, it made up 66% of all event reports that day.”
“To put that number into perspective, it made up 66% of all event reports that day,” one Facebook worker wrote in the internal “Violence and Incitement Working Group” to illustrate the number of complaints the company had received about the event.
BuzzFeed News could not verify the content on the militia page or its associated event because they had been removed from the platform. A previous story from the Verge noted that the page had issued a “call to arms” and hosted a number of commenters advocating for violence in Kenosha following the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
The internal report seen by BuzzFeed News reveals the extent to which concerned Facebook users went to warn the company of a group calling for public violence, and how the company failed to act. “The event is highly unusual in retrospect,” reads the report, which notes that the next highest event for the day had been flagged 18 times by users compared to the 455 times of the Kenosha Guard event.
After militia gathered in Kenosha on Tuesday night, a 17-year-old with a rifle allegedly killed two protesters. Facebook has maintained that the suspect, whose Facebook and Instagram profiles were taken down after the incident, had no direct connection with the Kenosha Guard page or event.
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During Facebook’s Thursday all-hands meeting, Zuckerberg said that the images from Wisconsin were “painful and really discouraging,” before acknowledging that the company had made a mistake in not taking the Kenosha Guard page and event down sooner. The page had violated Facebook’s new rules introduced last week that labeled militia and QAnon groups as “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” for their celebrations of violence.
The company did not catch the page despite user reports, Zuckerberg said, because the complaints had been sent to content moderation contractors who were not versed in “how certain militias” operate. “On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that was responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”
During the talk, Facebook employees hammered Zuckerberg for continuing to allow the spread of hatred on the platform.
THERE’S MORE, YOU CAN GO TO THE LINK. HOW MUCH EVIDENCE TO WE HAVE TO SEE THAT ZUCKERBERG IS CRIMINAL MAGA TRASH. WHY DOESN’T THE JUSTICE S DEPARTMENT SHUT THIS SITE DOWN? HOWE MANY PEOPLE DOES THIS MAN HAVE TO KILL?
NOW THEY HAVE “PRIVATE ROOMS” SO NO ONE KNOWS WHEN THE KKK AND TRUMP ARE PLANNING THEIR NEXT MURDER. IF DECENT PEOPLE SIMPLY ALL WALKED AWAY, SHUT DOWN THEIR ACCOUNTS, IT WOULD BREAK HIM.
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO US? THE EASE OF FACEBOOK GOSSIP AND CONNECTIONS OR FIGHTING THE TERRORIZING OF AMERICAN CITIZENS PROMOTED BY THIS GUY WITH HIS HEAD STUCK UP TRUMP’S ASS?
Y’ALL DO WHAT YOU WANT, I’M OUTTA THERE.