Meta sued over alleged role in murder of federal officer

midian182

Posts: 7,882   +81
Staff member
What just happened? Facebook parent company Meta is being sued by the sister of a federal security guard who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2020. The suit claims that the social network was responsible for connecting the two individuals charged in the incident and helping them plan the attack.

Dave Patrick Underwood was shot and killed outside a federal building and courthouse in Oakland, California, in May 2020. His sister, Angela Underwood Jacobs, filed a complaint in Alameda County Superior Court that claims the shooting “was not a random act of violence” but a “culmination of an extremist plot hatched and planned on Facebook by two men who Meta connected through Facebook’s groups infrastructure and its use of algorithms designed and intended to increase user engagement.”

The two men charged in the case were linked to the “boogaloo” anti-government movement that Facebook banned from its platform in June of 2020, reports Engadget. The ban stemmed from "actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions."

The suit will challenge the controversial Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 piece of legislation that says an interactive computer service can't be held liable for third-party content as it isn't the publisher of that material. Joe Biden said he wanted to revoke or rewrite Section 230 back at the start of 2020, and it was a major focus when Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress last year.

“Facebook bears responsibility for the murder of my brother,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Facebook knowingly promoted inflammatory and violent content and connected extremists who plotted and carried out the killing of my brother. Facebook must be held responsible for the harm it has caused not just my family, but so many others through its promotion of extremist content and by promoting algorithms to actively recruit members to its web platform.”

One of the claims made by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen (above) was that the platform knowingly encouraged and promoted extremist content, an accusation cited by Jacobs’ attorney, Ted Leopold.

“We believe and intend to show that Facebook’s conduct has led to a rise in extremism throughout the world and acts of real-world violence, including the murder of Officer Underwood,” Leopold said.

A Meta spokesperson told the The New York Times that the “claims are without legal basis,” and that it had “banned more than 1,000 militarized social movements.”

Facebook has spent years being accused of failing to remove extremist content that could incite violence. An Israeli minister called the company a “monster” in 2016 over claims it was partly to blame for the death of two 13-year-olds. More recently, Facebook was sued by Rohingya refugees for $150 billion over the Myanmar genocide, during which it allegedly allowed hate speech on the platform.

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psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,768
LOL, Facebook is completely mercenary. When Trump refused to stop investigations into FB's monopoly status and their undue influence on public discourse they banned him. They banned a sitting president because he wouldn't let them keep monetizing your privacy and freezing all competition out of the market. FB also silences or "fact checks" anyone who questions the Biden administration's narrative, including the junk science behind the COVID vaccine, and that will be the case until some responsible Democrats decide to reign in Zuckerberg's empire. This woman is going to be fishing for a big payday in vain.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,213   +1,886
TechSpot Elite
I do NOT like Facebook or social media in general - but as @psycros stated, this is a payday scam. I’m unsure if the root driver here is just the money, or the combination of this woman’s lack of understanding of how things work + money.

Either way, it’s no surprise unfortunately. It’s not Facebook’s fault that extremists are out there and connect. They have enough prior bans of other groups similar (and lawyers) to shut this waste of time down.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
I'm sorry but you can't sue a local merchant for meeting a serial killer. Signing up for social media is no different than making a decision to signup for yoga classes. You and you alone are responsible for yourself outside of said facilities.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,058   +863
LOL, Facebook is completely mercenary. When Trump refused to stop investigations into FB's monopoly status and their undue influence on public discourse they banned him. They banned a sitting president because he wouldn't let them keep monetizing your privacy and freezing all competition out of the market. FB also silences or "fact checks" anyone who questions the Biden administration's narrative, including the junk science behind the COVID vaccine, and that will be the case until some responsible Democrats decide to reign in Zuckerberg's empire. This woman is going to be fishing for a big payday in vain.

I gotta find the article which exposed why Trump was banned on TWITTER while terrorist groups still had the power to post criminal actions! That made me realize how messed up social media is. Out of all the news I read and save that really made me angry and lose faith with political people and businesses. That's disgusting how others weren't banned like Trump.

I will never forget that.
 

koblongata

Posts: 517   +281
People should think twice before throwing a party from now on, better background check every guest beforehand. Climate has changed. Dark woke age.

[edit: plus, prevent guests from getting to know each other, you might get sued for that]
 
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BuckarooBonzai

Posts: 97   +65
I would tend to believe that being in Law Enforcement is a 24/7 job, that your life is at risk 24/7. The brother understood this when he took the job and there are no safe zones these days.