New proceedings try to hold Facebook accountable for shooting federal guards

Date:

The proceedings filed on Wednesday are about to be held

Facebookof

FB 2.87%

The parent company is responsible for killing federal security guards in 2020 in a state-of-the-art effort to challenge the protection given to websites hosting user-generated content.

With a complaint against

Meta platform Ltd,

FB 2.87%

Angela Underwood Jacobs said the alleged murder of her brother, Dave Underwood, by rebel militants was the result of a plot that hatched on Facebook. According to federal prosecutors, her brother was shot dead by a man who traveled to Oakland, California, with the intention of killing a federal investigator.

The proceedings alleged that the man had connected with another individual on Facebook before traveling to Auckland. The two men were “connected through Facebook’s group infrastructure and the use of algorithms designed and intended to increase user engagement,” the proceedings said.

A Facebook spokesman said the claim had no legal basis. In the past, the company said it worked with law enforcement agencies on the case. A spokesman said the company banned more than 1,000 “militized social movements” from its platform. The suspect’s archer and accomplice pleaded not guilty to murder-related charges.

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The proceedings filed in the Alameda County Superior Court in Alameda, California are the latest in a series of legal attempts to break through the broad legal protection of high-tech companies if communications on the platform are allegedly harmful. Thing.Unlike newspaper and book publishers, internet companies like Facebook Protected by federal law 1996, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Protect them from their responsibilities as a site hosting user-created content.

Recently, some policymakers are concerned about the spread of content they consider harmful, so legislators are discussing potential changes to the law, including curbing or revoking liability protection. ..

Last year, The Wall Street Journal Published a series of articles Based on Facebook’s internal document showing the amount of the company Know about platform flaws And how often they lacked the will and ability to deal with them. U.S. Senator held a hearing It is related to the findings of the journal. Facebook disagrees with the conclusions drawn from the document and states that it wants new regulations to create “standard rules for the Internet.”

Facebook CEO

Mark Zuckerberg

Called Congress Pass legislation enforcing digital platforms To obtain the legal immunity they enjoy by demonstrating that a system is in place to identify and remove illegal content.

John Morris, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who focused on Internet policy and served in the previous two U.S. presidential administrations, is responsible for Facebook for what users post online because of Article 230. He said it would be difficult to inflict.

Parliamentary members liken Facebook and Instagram tactics to the tobacco industry tactics. Joanna Stern of the WSJ will review both hearings to find out what tobacco regulations can tell us about what’s coming to Big Tech.Photo Illustration: Adel Morgan / Wall Street Journal

Nevertheless, several proceedings have been set up to test the protection of the law. In a Texas lawsuit filed in 2018, an anonymous plaintiff allegedly trafficked as a minor by people communicating using Facebook is trying to hold the company accountable. The Texas Supreme Court dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ allegations under Section 230 last year, but said, “I don’t understand that Section 230’creates illegal unmanned land on the Internet.’” Some people are writing. Plaintiffs asked the US Supreme Court to consider the case in September and are waiting for a response. Facebook said it was considering the case and was taking steps to prevent trafficking on the site.

The father of a television news reporter who was shot dead in a video in 2015 filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook because the video of the killing remained on Facebook and Instagram. The reporter’s father alleges that Facebook is involved in deceptive trading practices by violating its own terms of use when allowing videos to be posted. Facebook said that when people post them, it keeps removing videos from that site. The FTC has not yet responded to the complaint, according to the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic, which supported the complaint.

In a California lawsuit, Underwood Jacobs posted a video of two men charged by a federal prosecutor for the murder of his brother, showing a crowd of former Air Force sergeants named Stephen Carilo. After posting on the page, he attacked two California Highway Patrol officers on May 28, 2020, who said they had gathered on Facebook. Carrillo posted a video to a group related to the Boogaloo movement, the proceedings said.

This movement is a loose group of right-wing rebels, Call themselves “Boogaloo Boa” (Pronounced “boy”). According to researchers tracking extremist organizations, their supporters’ views are broad and focused on overturning authority. According to these researchers, they have recently risen in rank on social media, primarily Facebook.

Underwood Jacobs’ complaint said two men had gathered in the Boogaloo group because Facebook recommended that one of them, Robert Albin Justus Jr., join the group.

Tory Newgent, one of Underwood Jacobs’ lawyers, said that by making group recommendations based on user interests, Facebook “did something much different than just promoting a bulletin board.” Stated. The act of encouraging people to join groups that share inflammatory content makes Facebook more than a passive platform protected in Section 230, she said.

“Facebook supported and encouraged domestic terrorist acts,” said Underwood Jacobs. “No one holds Facebook accountable. That’s wrong.”

Facebook has previously said it has worked with law enforcement agencies to remove Carrillo’s account and several groups related to Boogaloo in favor of violence.

According to complaints, Carrillo said in a Facebook group post that the protest against police atrocities that swept across the country in 2020 was a reference to federal agencies, “a great opportunity to target special soup bores.” I wrote that it was. In response, Justus wrote:

According to federal prosecutors, Carilo and Justus planned to travel to Auckland on May 29, 2020. The pair drove in a van towards a guard post outside Auckland’s federal building, and prosecutors claimed that Carilo fired multiple times at Underwood and his partner, the prosecutor. Mr Underwood was killed and his partner was injured.

Carrillo pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder and attempted the murder. Justus claimed that the attempted murder and the attempted murder were not guilty. The male lawyer did not call for comment.

Write in Justin Sheck justin.scheck@wsj.com And Zusha Elinson zusha.elinson@wsj.com

Copyright © 2022 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

New proceedings try to hold Facebook accountable for shooting federal guards

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