Facebook chose not to take action on Wisconsin militia group despite it being flagged by users

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Facebook still appears to be struggling to deal with enforcement of its own community guidelines, following reports from users that it was notified of an event by the Wisconsin Militia group. This is the same group, in which one of its members, a 17 year-old shot two protesters in the town of Kenosha earlier this week.

The teen has since been charged with homicide, but as more information regarding this event begun to surface, it looks like Facebook once again had the opportunity to do something.

This is not to say that the social media platform is responsible for the murders, but users did notify it of the event, as well as the potential for escalation given that the post called for residents of Kenosha to “take up arms”.

Following the flagging by users, Facebook issued a response (pasted in the image below via Engadget) noting that did not infringe on any of the specific community guidelines that the company has in place.

“The event was reviewed and though it doesn’t go against one of our specific Community Standards, we understand the event or something shared on it may still be offensive to you,” the response noted.

Following the shooting, Facebook also said in a statement that there was no evidence that the 17 year-old was a part of the Wisconsin Militia group. In the wake of this event, Facebook has also chosen to remove the accounts of the shooter, as well as the group.

“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. However, the Kenosha Guard Page and their Event Page violated our new policy addressing militia organizations and have been removed on that basis,” the company’s statement explained.

Much like the situations which transpired following the Christchurch mosque shootings last year, Facebook has failed to actively police and respond to activities on its platform.

Whether or not further scrutiny or worthwhile changes come to the fore as a result of this event, remains to be seen.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.