'Rona Madness

Facebook Struggles to Block All In Person Anti-Quarantine Protests


Facebook is trying to prevent in-person gatherings, but there are too many posts to block.

A spokesperson with Facebook had initially said hey received instructions by the state governments advising that in-person gatherings break lockdown and social distancing laws in place as a reaction to the coronavirus, and those events should be removed. Anti-quarantine posts have been removed for protests in California, Nebraska, and New York.

Facebook faces issues enforcing the removal of posts and events that violating social distancing due to to the number of posts being made, and the differences in laws state-by-state.

“We [Facebook] reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders, not about removing specific protests on Facebook. We remove the posts when gatherings do not follow the health parameters established by the government and are therefore unlawful.”

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Officials from both New Jersey and Nebraska have since made statements denying allegations that they reached out to Facebook with the intention of having events removed from the social networking site.

Justin Pinkerman, a spokesperson for the Nebraska governors office says that their office is “not aware of any Facebook events regarding COVID-19 protests, and has not requested Facebook to pull any events down.”

Confusion over the statement made by Facebook was settled on Monday when it was  clarified that “events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook,” and the removal of anti-quarantine events wasn’t a request from the state’s government officials.

Although many Americans do not support the anti-quarantine protestors, the number of protests have been being planned more frequently than can be managed by the team at Facebook who have to navigate the mandates of 42 states’ stay-at-home orders.

These protests are thought to be influenced by President Donald Trump’s urgency in reopening the economy by ending strict social distancing.

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