Facebook removed the official page for the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia just one day before it took place, according to event organizer Jason Kessler.
Kessler posted screenshots of the removed event page on August 11, one day before the event took place and more than one month after he initially shared the event on his personal Facebook page.
A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider on Monday that the company removed the event over the weekend after it realized that the rally was connected to a hate organization and presented a threat of physical harm. The rally ended up leaving three people dead and dozens more injured after violence erupted between white nationalists and counter-protesters.
“Our hearts go out to the people affected by the tragic events in Charlottesville,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Facebook does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville.”
Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said that she was “heartbroken” in a separate post condemning Saturday’s rally.
“Every generation has to be vigilant in fighting against the type of bigotry and hatred that was displayed by the white supremacists in Charlottesville,” Sandberg wrote. “Along with millions of others, I was so heartbroken this weekend.”
Kessler didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The removal of the “Unite the Right” rally event is the latest in a string of moves Facebook has made to crack down on terrorist activity and violent acts shared on its network. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently committed to hiring 3,000 more content moderators to filter out offensive posts.