Yesterday, CBS News reported that Omar Mateen, the Muslim who killed or wounded over 100 in Orlando last weekend, announced his intentions on Facebook ahead of the attack.
NEW: Orlando gunman Omar Mateen posted the following Facebook status, moments before attack, source tells CBS News: pic.twitter.com/u1j5e0LZGv
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 15, 2016
The fact of Mateen’s posting raises a question for Facebook, which has proven to be extremely swift at suspending and banning critics of Islam like Pamela Geller: how long did it take them to spot the post, report it to the authorities, and remove it?
We reached out to Facebook on this, but the company was unwilling to disclose how long the post remained on the site for. Facebook emphasized to us that they cooperated with law enforcement over the post, and said the post was removed “quickly,” consistent with their policies banning threats of violence on the platform.
This doesn’t tell us much. Facebook’s assurance that the post was taken down “quickly” is unacceptably vague. 100 people were killed or wounded by Mateen. The public will want to know precisely how long his post was up for, and precisely how long it took Facebook to report it to the authorities.
Breitbart reached out to the F.B.I., to discover how quickly they were alerted to the post by Facebook — if they were reported at all, but were informed that the Bureau cannot comment further on an ongoing investigation.
That leaves Facebook as the only group that can confirm how long it took them to detect and report Mateen’s post. It’s unlikely that the public will have much patience for further vague answers from the social media company.