😐 What role did Facebook play in the January 6 Capitol riots?

It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the number of problems piling up at Facebook these days. 

Here’s one you might’ve missed (while you were unable to log on to Insta or WhatsApp): A whistleblower says Facebook made a key error that may have helped users plan the January 6 Capitol riot.

  • The Facebook whistleblower is Frances Haugen: After leaving the company, she has helped release damning information to the WSJ and appeared on “60 Minutes” on Sunday. 

  • She dropped a major scoop about post-election security: Haugen said Facebook dismantled a unit dedicated to managing election misinformation to chase growth after the 2020 election ended. “Fast forward a couple of months,” she told “60 Minutes,” “we got the insurrection.”

Facebook was a key tool in the riots

The rioters used Facebook to plan their break-in into the Capitol and for spreading misinformation related to the election, according to the New York Times.

The Verdict

Section 230 protects Facebook from almost anything damaging these users did on its platform. But the public scrutiny will remain very high.