icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
20 Apr, 2020 18:48

Facebook CENSORS anti-quarantine protests in US as ‘harmful misinformation’

Facebook CENSORS anti-quarantine protests in US as ‘harmful misinformation’

Americans protesting their states’ coronavirus lockdown measures won’t be able to organize protests on Facebook any longer, after the Silicon Valley firm declared them “harmful misinformation.”

Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that anti-lockdown protests organized through his platform are considered “harmful misinformation,” and will be removed by moderators. 

“I think a lot of the stuff that people are saying that is false around a health emergency like this can be classified as harmful misinformation,” Zuckerberg added.

President Donald Trump has left it up to governors to decide when to lift lockdown measures in their states, but only a handful have eased the coronavirus shutdown. Florida opened some of its beaches on Friday, while South Carolina intends to open some of its shoreside spots this week.

Protests have broken out in states whose governors remain committed to a full lockdown. Citizens in at least 10 states, including Texas, Washington, Michigan and New Hampshire, took to the streets over the weekend to vent their anger at the stay-at-home orders. In some of these states, a handful of gun rights activists led the charge in organizing the events on Facebook, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Shortly before Zuckerberg’s TV appearance, CNN journalist Donie O’Sullivan reported that Facebook removed anti-quarantine events in California, New Jersey and Nebraska. The protests themselves are not strictly illegal, but the social network reportedly consulted with the state governments before siding with them and removing the posts.

Numerous media outlets cited Facebook as saying that the governors themselves asked for the removal. The spokesman for Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, however, said on Monday afternoon that this was not the case.

Facebook has already taken a firm stance on what it claims is “misinformation” about the coronavirus. The Silicon Valley company announced last week that it would fact-check all posts about the virus and push World Health Organization updates into the feeds of people who have “liked, reacted or commented on harmful misinformation about Covid-19.” 

Also on rt.com Facebook’s Zuckerberg touts users’ data as ‘superpower’ as Covid-19 symptom survey set to roll out worldwide

Zuckerberg also revealed on Monday that Facebook has gathered a massive set of data on users who self-reported coronavirus symptoms, and will pass this data to governments to track the spread of the deadly virus. Though Facebook insisted it will not “interpret” this data, it has partnered with two universities to do just that, by combing through the information with artificial intelligence.

With protesters facing off against their governors and lockdown supporters, Trump has taken the opposite stance to Zuckerberg. Several days after firing off a series of tweets backing demonstrators in Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota, the president declared on Sunday that “some governors have gone too far.” 

The protests continued as Monday wore on. In one Pennsylvania gathering, scheduled since last week, crowds of demonstrators descended on the State Capitol in Harrisburg, waving American and Gadsden flags, along with Trump campaign banners. 

Like this story? Share it with a friend!