Facebook sued for allowing militia ‘call to arms’ before Kenosha shootings
Facebook is being sued for allowing “white racist militias” to make the call to arms that allegedly led to the deadly shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The social media giant is one of six defendants in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday — along with accused teen killer Kyle Rittenhouse, militia groups the Kenosha Guard and the Boogaloo Bois, and two alleged leaders.
They are being sued by four people — including the “life partner” of one of two killed, Anthony Huber, who “was forced to watch her best friend and soulmate die” during the Aug. 25 bloodbath, the suit said.
The suit claimed that “white racist militias use Facebook to broadcast and publicize a ‘call to arms’ for untrained private citizens to travel across state lines” with “assault rifles, tactical gear, and militia grade equipment.”
The posts were met by “violent, racist rhetoric in which militia members promise to shoot protestors, their desire to literally kill people displayed publicly for all to see,” claimed the lawsuit, which posted a series of screenshots of posts connected to the deadly protests.
“As is now sadly well known, Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse answered the call to arms,” the lawsuit stated of the 17-year-old suspect now charged with killing two and seriously injuring another as gunshots rang out.
However, “Rittenhouse would not have known about or traveled to Kenosha but for the call to arms having been widely publicized,” the suit claimed — accusing Facebook of blatantly ignoring the posts.
The Kenosha Guard posts alone had “more than 400 complaints and flags” — “approximately 66% of all events reported that day,” the suit said.
“In other words, Facebook received more than 400 warnings that what did happen was going to occur,” the suit alleged — saying that the Kenosha Guard posts were only removed days later by its leader, named as Kevin Mathewson, and not Facebook itself.
“Perhaps the worst part of this organized deprivation of rights and dignity is that it all could have been prevented,” the lawsuit said.
“It was only days after Plaintiffs and protestors were forced to flee in terror and watch their friends and loved ones die that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a public apology for what he called an ‘operational mistake,’” it said.
“More importantly, Facebook continues to provide militias with the tools to further their violent conspiracies,” the lawsuit said.
Along with Huber’s partner Hannah Gittings, the lawsuit was filed by Nathan Peet, a journalist who witnessed the carnage, as well as two protesters who say they were attacked, Christopher McNeal and Carmen Palmer.
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