State governors have denied asking Facebook to remove ‘Reopen America’ event pages, saying that it was the social network that contacted them over the matter, not the other way around as initially reported.
Fake news CNN reporter Oliver Darcy tweeted Monday that Facebook had taken down pages promoting lockdown protests, pointing to California, New Jersey, and Nebraska, and saying that the action was taken “on the instruction of governments in those three states”:
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
Fellow fake news CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan noted that Facebook had taken the action after “consultation with state governments”, again making it appear that the governors had demanded Facebook take down the pages.
Facebook says it has removed promotion of anti-quarantine events in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska after consultation with state governments
— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) April 20, 2020
Politico reported: “Facebook shuts down anti-quarantine protests at states’ request.”
However, they all got it wrong, again.
The Nebraska governor’s office told Breitbart News Tuesday:
The Governor’s Office is not aware of any Facebook events regarding COVID-19 protests, and has not requested Facebook to pull any events down. Facebook reached out last week to learn more about Nebraska’s social distancing restrictions, and the Governor’s staff provided already publicly available information about Nebraska’s ten-person limit and Directed Health Measures.
In addition, New Jersey’s governor also denied mandating Facebook take action, saying ”The governor’s office did not ask Facebook to remove pages or posts for events promoting lifting the provisions of the governor’s stay-at-home order.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday and announced that Facebook would ban the event pages as “misinformation.”
So, Facebook took that decision on its own, without any instruction from State governors. However, it now appears that the company may be doing an about turn on the matter.
Breitbart reports that a Facebook spokesperson told them that “Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook.”
“For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.” the statement also noted.
Americans across the country are becoming impatient with the prolonged lockdowns that have gripped their towns and cities and halted the economy.
Protests have been organised nationwide in defiance of the stay-at-home orders.