Facebook is being sued by the sister of a federal officer who was allegedly killed by a member of a far-right extremist movement, claiming that the social media platform's recommendation system had a role in radicalizing the people involved, NBC News reports.
In May 2020, Department of Homeland Security officer Dave Patrick Underwood was shot and killed in what police describe as a drive-by shooting allegedly committed by Steven Carrillo while Underwood was working on watch duty outside of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California. Carrillo was later arrested following an alleged shootout with police that killed Santa Cruz Sheriff's Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.
Carrillo and Robert Alvin Justus Jr., the alleged driver of the vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting of Underwood, have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently awaiting trial.
Angela Underwood Jacobs, Underwood's sister, on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Facebook in Alameda County Court alleging "extreme pain and suffering endured by Dave Patrick Underwood from the time of the shooting until the time of his death" as well as "for his wrongful death."
She said in a statement to the press: "Facebook bears responsibility for the murder of my brother. As the lawsuit alleges, 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 [to] my family, but so many others, by promoting extremist content and building extremist groups on its platform."
A spokesperson for Facebook told NBC News in an email that it has "banned more than 1,000 militarized social movements from our platform and work closely with experts to address the broader issue of internet radicalization. These claims are without legal basis."
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