Facebook is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons again this week following an apparent double murder in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The violence stemmed from a clash between activists protesting a recent police shooting and armed militia groups who also showed up. And according to a report in The Verge this week, Facebook was warned ahead of time about a militia group on its platform called the Kenosha Guard that was fomenting violence, yet the company did nothing to remove the content. According to several anonymous tipsters, the group had issued a “call to arms” in advance of the protest.
“There were lots of comments like that in the event,” one anonymous user told The Verge. “People talking about being ‘locked and loaded.’ People asking what types of weapons and people responding to ‘bring everything.’”
“I felt it had the possibility to end in violence, and it did,” another said.
Facebook finally removed the Kenosha Guard page on Wednesday morning, flagging it for violating its community standards. However, that action is far too little, too late. The social media giant had plenty of warning about these potential bad actors but did nothing with it. Facebook must become far more responsive to user complaints in the future if it wants to avoid being linked to tragedies like this.
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