CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a first for Facebook: The social media giant sued by Kenosha protesters.
They said the social media giant put them at risk. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports those suing said the internet giant cost lives.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Chilly, Rainy Saturday Night; Gradually Warming Temperatures Next Week
The key question is: How did people like Kyle Rittenhouse know to go to Kenosha on August 25? Days after a white officer shot unarmed African American Jacob Blake in the back seven times.
The loved ones of those killed in Kenosha said Facebook let posts inciting violence, lawlessness and racism stay up after being flagged hundreds of times.
It appears the sheriff’s department threw water and permission into the hands of militia members on the night of August 25. In the minutes that followed, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, authorities said, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum first, then minutes later, Anthony Huber, whose partner is now suing Rittenhouse and the social media outlet that she said helped mobilize him.
“Coming out here and wanting to play soldier and killing innocent people. And ripping away the most promising future of a 26-year-old man,” said Huber’s girlfriend Hannah Gittings.
The militia commander wrote on Facebook to the Kenosha Chief of Police his call to action:READ MORE: One Person Shot On Dan Ryan Early Saturday Morning
“We are mobilizing tonight. You will still be outnumbered. I ask that you do not have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest.”
“Because of the events in Charlottesville in 2017, Facebook was well aware of the violence that could result because of these militia pages and the specific call to arms,” said plaintiff’s attorney Jennifer Sirrine.
The suit filed Tuesday against the militia, Facebook, Rittenhouse and others alleges: “Facebook’s inaction led to the death of two protesters, in addition to the harm suffered by plaintiffs.
“The enabling and empowering of militias to conspire with its platform and tools allows white supremacist groups to recruit, organize and thrive, while Facebook continues to profit from their activities, and those who fight for social justice continue to die.”
“They were warned over 400 times by these reports and they didn’t do anything until after two people died and we want these policies to change,” Sirrine said.MORE NEWS: Ed's Driveway: Chicago Auto Show 2021