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Facebook confirms it removed some events calling for protests of stay-at-home orders

Pages that encourage social distancing among protesters allowed
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Posted at 1:39 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 14:26:23-04

After consulting with officials in California, Nebraska and New Jersey, Facebook has taken down event pages promoting protests against "stay at home orders" in those states, CNN, NBC News and The Washington Post reports.

Facebook told The Washington Post on Sunday night that the pages violated the platform's standards because they were calling for protests that would defy government guidance. Facebook says it did not take down events that encouraged "drive-in" protests or pages that encouraged participants to keep safe distances.

"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," said Andy Stone, a spokesman for the company, told The Washington Post.

Sixty percent of Americans support extending stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But protests have taken place in several states throughout the last week, calling on state governors to "reopen" their states and allow non-essential employees to go back to work.

The Post reports that many of the protests were organized by three brothers and conservative gun-rights activists from Minnesota.

President Donald Trump has supported protests calling for the relaxation of social distancing orders and tweeted calls for the "liberation" of some states last week. Over the weekend, Trump also defended Stephen Moore, an economist in his administration, who called the protesters "modern-day Rosa Parks."