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Facebook admits 'operational mistake' over posts about Wisconsin protests

The page for the “Kenosha Guard” violated Facebook’s policies and had been flagged, Zuckerberg said

Image: PA

FACEBOOK MADE A mistake in not removing a militia group’s page earlier this week that called for armed civilians to enter Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid violent protests after police shot Jacob Blake, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says.

The page for the “Kenosha Guard” violated Facebook’s policies and had been flagged by “a bunch of people”, Zuckerberg said in a video posted yesterday on Facebook.

The social media giant has in recent weeks adopted new guidelines removing or restricting posts from groups that pose a threat to public safety.

Facebook took down the page on Wednesday, after an armed civilian allegedly killed two people and wounded a third on Tuesday night amid protests in Kenosha that followed the shooting of Mr Blake, who is black.

“It was largely an operational mistake,” Zuckerberg said. “The contractors, the reviewers, who the initial complaints were funnelled to, didn’t, basically didn’t pick this up.”

Zuckerberg did not apologise for the error and said that so far, Facebook has not found any evidence that suspect Kyle Rittenhouse was aware of the Kenosha Guard page or the invitation it posted for armed militia members to go to Kenosha.

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Facebook is now taking down posts that praise the shooting or shooter, Zuckerberg said.

Yet a report on Thursday by The Guardian newspaper found examples of support and even fundraising messages still being shared on Facebook and its photo-sharing service, Instagram.

Zuckerberg also contrasted the treatment of Mr Blake, who was shot in the back by Kenosha police, and the white 17-year-old now charged in Tuesday’s slayings, Rittenhouse, who carried an AR-15-style rifle near police without being challenged.

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