Events that call for in-person gatherings, ignoring social distancing guidelines or make other misleading claims related to Covid-19 will be removed
Facebook has confirmed it will remove groups and events that encourage people to defy guidance on social distancing during the coronavirus epidemic.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said in an interview on Good Morning America on Monday that events that ignore social distancing guidelines will be taken down as they are considered harmful misinformation, reports c|net.
The move comes as a response to some Americans using Facebook to organize protests of business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, intended to contain the spread of coronavirus.
"It's important that people can debate policies, so there's a line on this, you know, more than normal political discourse," he said. "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."
Facebook said that content related to protests can stay up on the social network as long as the people posting it make it clear that social distancing must be maintained. Events that call for in-person gatherings, ignoring social distancing guidelines or making other misleading claims related to Covid-19 will be removed.
"Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook," said a Facebook company spokesperson. "For this same reason, events that defy government's guidance on social distancing aren't allowed on Facebook."
Facebook has reportedly already removed content for some anti-quarantine protests planned in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska. However, it allowed protests planned in other states to remain because the events didn't violate local orders.