MANILA, Philippines – Facebook is taking down some posts that promote anti-stay-at-home protests in the US, according to CNN, Monday, April 20, US time.
The posts to be taken down include the ones being organized in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska, with the company doing so only after consultation with respective state authorities. The protests, Facebook told CNN, were in violation of the social distancing guidelines set by the state.
In the US, these posts promoting the protests are reported to have erupted as unemployment reaches record numbers in the country’s extended lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook’s removal policy on the protests focuses on posts created through the Facebook Events feature in the 3 aforementioned states. Facebook Groups about the protests will not be removed.
The company is currently consulting with authorities in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York regarding their specific rules on social distancing, and whether protests organized via their platform may be in violation of said rules.
Facebook told CNN that they will only disallow such events to be organized on the platform if found to be in defiance of local guidelines.
Bloomberg, quoting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from a TV interview, reported that in cases where someone makes a post that says that social distancing doesn’t work, they will classify that as “harmful misinformation and we take that down.”
“More than normal political discourse I think a lot of stuff that people are saying that is false around a health emergency like this can be classified as harmful misinformation that has a risk of leading to imminent danger, and we’ll take that content down,” Zuckerberg said. – Rappler.com