Facebook employees on Thursday, August 27, 2020 announced they were frustrated with CEO Mark Zuckerberg after a companywide meeting when Zuckerberg was speaking via webcast at the company’s weekly all-hands meeting. Zuckerberg was answering questions about information Facebook content related to violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the QAnon so-called conspiracy that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring that is battled by President Donald Trump.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called the failure to remove the Kenosha Guard from Facebook prior to the shooting deaths as an “Operational Mistake.”
Following the fatal shooting of two rioters — who some on social media are classifying as part of a group of peaceful protesters — Facebook has removed the Kenosha Guard Facebook page and event page for violating Facebook’s new policy addressing militia groups. Facebook has also removed Kenosha homicide suspect Kyle Rittenhouse’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and any other pages that appear under his name. Rittenhouse is a 17 year-old resident of Antioch, Illinois who is on record saying he was in Kenosha to prevent rioters from destroying property.
“We’ve designated this shooting as a mass murder and have removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram. At this time, we have not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or that he was invited on the Event Page they organized.”
— Facebook spokesperson
Employees are questioning Zuckerberg’s leadership and decision-making, following a week in which the Facebook platform allegedly allowed a communications platform to exist for a militia group in Kenosha, and the promotion of violent conspiracy theories and QAnon conspiracy content.
The meeting came one day after the Verge reported that a self-proclaimed militia group calling itself “Kenosha Guard” had used its Facebook page to issue a “call to arms” — violating Facebook’s own policies — and remained online even though at least two people reported it before the shooting. It also followed weeks of employee unrest, in which the company’s rank and file have urged the CEO to combat the spread of QAnon-related content on its platform.
On May 5, 2020, Facebook announced the social media company removed 5 Pages, 20 Facebook accounts, and 6 Groups that originated in the US and focused domestically. Facebook reported their investigation linked activity to individuals associated with the QAnon network known to spread fringe conspiracy theories. Facebook found the activity as part of internal investigations into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) ahead of the 2020 election in the United States.
Sorry, Mark, but I find your "acknowledgment" literally unbelievable. FB is designed to provoke. Its business model depends on triggering strong reactions, inflaming passions, inciting action. That's how FB attracts ad revenue. That's the problem. https://t.co/2FheD3FJSe
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) August 29, 2020
Facebook banned violent militia groups. We still found plenty of them on its platform. https://t.co/1G84hwyEtR
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 28, 2020
A Kenosha Militia Facebook Event Asking Attendees To Bring Weapons Was Reported 455 Times. Moderators Said It Didn’t Violate Any Rules. https://t.co/PdNXOxHNXQ
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) August 28, 2020
Facebook blames contractors for failing to remove Kenosha militia's 'call to arms' https://t.co/DjTM1ZmBob
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 29, 2020
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
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Polarization of the shooting incident involves opinions ranging from Rittenhouse acting in self-defense against “dangerous rioters” to intentional homicide of “peaceful protesters.”
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) August 28, 2020
Facebook employees are furious with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who admitted during a company-wide meeting that the company made an “operational mistake” by failing to remove a self-proclaimed militia group’s “call to arms” ahead of the Kenosha protest https://t.co/vU4lVAwogx
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 28, 2020