Facebook said Monday it removed anti-quarantine protest events in Nebraska, New Jersey, and California that defied government guidelines on social distancing, from its site.
According to Reuters, Facebook has received backlash for its lack of policing harmful content and misinformation related to the coronavirus. However, the social media giant said it would only take down anti-quarantine protest events if they defied government guidelines.
“Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook,” spokesman Andy Stone said. “For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”
According to a Pew Research Center poll, 66% of Americans are more concerned with lifting quarantine restrictions too quickly as opposed to too late. However, anti-quarantine protests have popped up in Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota, pushing state governments to reopen the economy.
White House guidelines indicate for a state to reopen its economy, it must record 14 consecutive days of declining case numbers. However, the U.S. Job market is suffering as nearly all jobs created since the 2008 housing crisis have been lost in just a month.
As a result, Trump has called for Democratic governors of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia to “LIBERATE” their states on Sunday in a series of tweets. Twitter allowed the tweets to stay on its platform, saying they did not clearly suggest harmful physical intent.
Since the outbreak hit the U.S., Facebook has donated millions of dollars to help small businesses stay afloat. Last week, Facebook announced $15 million will be used to help small business owners impacted by the coronavirus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading government official on infectious diseases, told Good Morning America the protests will not work.
“Clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics and the standpoint of things that have nothing to do with the virus, but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” Fauci said on Good Morning America Monday.
“So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back,” he said. “So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem.”