The feds say that far-right “Boogaloo” militia types killed federal officer David Patrick Underwood, while trying to pose as Antifa. Underwood’s sister says Facebook gave them the tools to do it, and is suing the company.
There have always been incredibly fishy circumstances around the May 29, 2020 killing of federal security officer David Patrick Underwood. For starters, the Boogaloo extremists whom the feds have charged with that murder had tried to make it look like Antifa committed the killing, a lie which even then-vice president Mike Pence repeated at the 2020 Republican convention.
We also now know that Facebook was these Boogaloo adherents' platform of choice, because the platform was astonishingly inept at cracking down on far-right extremists. And that’s just brought Facebook (Meta, whatever) a new civil lawsuit, as the Washington Post reports that Underwood's sister is suing Facebook for their alleged indifference at allowing Underwood’s murder to be organized on their platform.
“Facebook bears responsibility for the murder of my brother,” Angela 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.”
The lawsuit itself alleges that Facebook effectively recruited Boogaloo members/followers by promoting misinformation, because misinformation so performs well in the platform's News Feed.
“The algorithms are weighted to favor untrue, inflammatory, and divisive content that will grab and keep users’ attention,” according to the lawsuit. “Furthermore, the recommendations are not based on Facebook user requests for recommendations — they are pushed onto users.”
Facebook, unsurprisingly, claims their widely criticized efforts were more than adequate. And the company has skirted blame in many similar circumstances in the past.
“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,” Meta spokesperson Kevin McAlister told the Post. “These claims are without legal basis.”
Image: PLACER COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION