Facebook is working to remove events being organized by users for protests against state lockdowns that have been implemented across the United States to reduce the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Many of the protests have been spurred as the lockdowns, which include the closures of "non-essential" businesses, have been extended. As a result, over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. The United States has 761,964 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 35,314 deaths and 70,337 having recovered, according to John Hopkins University.
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if the social media giant views organizing these types of protests as spreading "harmful information."
"We do classify that as harmful misinformation and we take that down," Zuckerberg said.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN they are removing protest promotions in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska, with the company reaching out to states like New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to see if the protests violate the social distancing measures.
Anti-quarantine protests being organized through Facebook in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska, are being removed from the platform on the instruction of governments in those three states because it violates stay-at-home orders, Facebook spokesperson @andymstone tells @donie.— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 20, 2020
Says it is working to get answers from New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as to whether anti-quarantine protests breaks those states' social distancing measures.— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) April 20, 2020
President Trump has lent his support for some of the protests in states where some of the restrictions have been seen as going too far. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders restrict citizens from buying clothes, gardening seeds, lawn care, and construction items but allows the purchase of alcohol and weed.
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