Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that posts and pages attempting to organize protests against stay-at-home orders will be banned as “misinformation.”
The Facebook CEO confirmed that the posts would be banned to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on a segment of Good Morning America.
Stephanopoulos asked Zuckerberg how the company deals “with the fact that Facebook is now being used to organize a lot of these protests to defy social distancing guidelines in states. If somebody trying to organize something like that, does that qualify as harmful misinformation?”
“We do classify that as harmful misinformation and we take that down,” confirmed Zuckerberg, while at the same time saying that it’s important “that people can debate policies.”
A Facebook spokesman confirmed to CNN that planned protests in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska were having their pages removed from Facebook at the request of state authorities.
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
This comes after President Trump gave his support to protesters in several states who are demonstrating against their governors’ stay-at-home orders, including a 3,000-strong protest in Lansing, Michigan. Michigan protesters have used Facebook to organize.
On Twitter, the President called on protesters to “liberate” the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, also calling on Virginian citizens to “save your great 2nd amendment. It is under siege!”
At Friday’s White House coronavirus press conference, Trump lent more support to the protesters.
“These are people expressing their views,” said the president. “They seem to be very responsible people to me, but they’ve been treated a little bit rough.”
Protests and demonstrations, like other forms of lawful speech, are constitutionally protected. The First Amendment of the United States, in addition to protecting freedom of expression and religion, also specifically protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.