Facebook bans protest events that violate social distancing rules

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: April 22, 2020

This lockdown has been incredibly difficult for us, but does that mean that we should defy the government orders and start protesting?

In the past couple of days, many users of Facebook have planned and organized protests against quarantine. However, Facebook has decided to ban the promotion of such events after having an in-depth discussion with the government. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Facebook doesn’t support the violation of social distancing rules designed by the government.

“Events that defy governments’ guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.” – said Facebook’s spokesperson while talking to The Verge.

CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan reports that all the anti-quarantine protests that were previously arranged in New Jersey, Nebraska, and California have been removed after Facebook intervened and consulted with the government.

The tech giant is also seeking guidance regarding the protests in New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and contacted the government officials to clarify whether or not they violate current shelter-in-place orders.

The spokesperson added, “Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook.”

Source: Yahoo

These actions seem to indicate that Facebook is prioritizing government rules instead of relying on editorial judgment.

“It’s important that people can debate policies so there’s a line on this, you know, more than normal political discourse. 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.” – said Mark Zuckerberg while speaking to Good Morning America.

Several people held protests earlier this month in Michigan and Minnesota, and critics believe that some of them were encouraged by President Donald Trump since he can’t seem to control his Twitter account. In fact, the protest held in Michigan was planned by the conservative party. These sizable protestors in Lansing were irresponsible and didn’t take proper precautions.

However, there’s still a large number of people who’re afraid that due to the careless protests, the government might lift the orders prematurely, and that can give rise to the second wave.

In the last few weeks, Facebook was receiving excessive heat on not taking proactive measures to stop the spread of misinformation, hoax, and scams.

Therefore, Facebook is now walking on a fragile line that censors political protests and also removes harmful content.   

Updated April 22, 2020
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