Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of social media behemoth Facebook, says he won’t allow the platform to be used for the purpose of organizing protests against coronavirus-related ‘stay at home’ orders because it qualifies as “harmful misinformation” under current guidelines.
During an interview on Monday’s “Good Morning America” program, host George Stephanopoulos asked Zuckerberg, “How do you deal 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?” Stephanopoulos continued.
“We do classify that as harmful misinformation and we take that down,” Zuckerberg said. “At the same time, 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.”
In recent years, conservatives have seen evidence that Facebook and the other social media giants like YouTube, Twitter, and Google have increasingly censored their content, especially if it is seen as supportive of President Donald Trump.
“The revelation by Zuckerberg comes after President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force last week unveiled a three-phase plan for reopening the U.S. economy,” The Hill noted, “with individual governors ultimately deciding how and where the phased re-openings would occur based on specific criteria levels.”
“You’re going to call your own shots,” the president told governors during a conference call last week. “We’re going to be standing alongside of you.”
But that said, the president also seems to be cognizant of the fact that in some states, stay-at-home orders have been goofy, draconian, or downright authoritarian, as evidenced in some tweets last week that seemed to encourage protests.
“LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” Trump tweeted, followed by a tweet reading, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
“LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” read another tweet.
Not surprisingly, each of these states is led by a Democrat governor. But there is substance behind the opposition.
In Michigan, for instance, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus order forbids people from buying garden seeds and child car seats, yet they can still purchase marijuana.
In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam recently signed a bevy of new gun control laws passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature, all while residents of the state are under a stay-at-home order that defies public demonstrations because people are forbidden to gather in large groups.
And the Left is also being hypocritical regarding these protests.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has accused the president of “fomenting domestic rebellion” with his “Liberate’ tweets, The Hill reported. But has he and other Democratic governors ever accused Leftist hate groups like Antifa of “fomenting domestic rebellion” when the group’s adherents call for anarchy and for states and communities to “resist” the president?
So, are demonstrations against perceived governmental overreach really acts of spreading misinformation? Making such a determination is arbitrary, to be sure, but it appears as though Facebook has made its decision.
Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years' worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.
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