Facebook is indeed being blamed for actuating brutal conduct and disdain violations.
Angela Underwood Jacobs, the sister of a government official who was killed during the racial equity fights of 2020, sued Facebook’s parent organization Meta this week for supposedly “purposely advancing fanatic substance” that added to the demise of her sibling, Dave Patrick Underwood.
Underwood was shot and killed in Oakland, California, on May 29, 2020 external the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, when a van pulled up and opened a shooting binge that likewise injured Underwood’s accomplice. Underwood’s demise came only five days after the homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which set off a progression of fights the nation over racial equity and police utilization of power.In the claim, documented Wednesday in California Superior Court, Underwood Jacobs guaranteed the web-based media stage associated people who “wanted to take part in demonstrations of savagery against government policemen” and eventually “helped construct” risky gatherings utilized for arranging rough assaults.
She specifically calls out Facebook for failing to properly regulate online communities like the extremist far-right “boogaloo” groups, an anti-government movement centered on starting a race war and which has ties to suspected gunman, Steven Carrillo.
“Facebook bears responsibility for the murder of my brother,” Underwood Jacobs said in a news release. “Facebook must be held responsible for the harm it has caused not just my family, but so many others, by promoting extremist content and building extremist groups on its platform.”
Kevin McAlister, Facebook’s policy communications manager, told Insider that the claims “are without legal basis.”
“We’ve banned more than 1,000 militarized social movements from our platform and work closely with experts to address the broader issue of internet radicalization,” McAlister said.
The company has continued to face scrutiny in the following months for its alleged role in instigating similar violent attacks, including the Capitol riot on January 6. Facebook has previously rejected claims that it has done too little to limit the spread of disinformation and hateful content on the site.
Analysts at the Network Contagion Research Institute, an organization that monitors online extremism, first noted the possibility of an attack like the one against Underwood more than three months prior to his murder, according to The Guardian.
The researchers flagged several instances of Facebook groups centered around the concept of a race war it referred to as “the boogaloo.” And while Facebook responded at the time that it was investigating the use of the term and pledged to remove content that violated its policies against fomenting hate crimes or violence, it never outright banned the groups nor removed many of them.