Amid the Capitol riot, Facebook faced its own insurrection

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, smoke fills the walkway outside the Senate Chamber as supporters of President Donald Trump, including Eric Bochene, far right, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol in Washington. Bochene is one of at least five people charged in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 who have chosen to defend themselves in court, brushing aside federal judges repeated warnings about the risks of trying to navigate their high-stakes cases without an attorney. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Manuel Balce Ceneta, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – New internal documents provided by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen provide a rare glimpse into how the company, after years under the microscope for the policing of its platform, appears to have simply stumbled into the Jan. 6 riot.

For weeks, riot participants had vowed — on Facebook itself — to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory with little response from the company.

Yet when the insurrection finally broke out, Facebook seemed as surprised as anyone else, leading employees to vent their frustration over what some saw as the company’s halting and inconsistent response to rising U.S. extremism.