Katrina Pierson, the senior adviser to President Trump’s 2020 election team, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Monday that Facebook is wrong to silence anti-lockdown protesters and seemed to prove that state governments are “regulating” the right to exercise free speech.
Pierson’s comments came after Facebook announced it would block these protesters from posting messages on the platform to organize rallies that have been popping up across the U.S.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the social media giant, said in an interview Monday that posts that promote protests over stay-at-home orders are considered “harmful misinformation” and will be taken down by the company.
“We have Facebook now admitting that these governments are making the decision for them,” she said. She tweeted earlier, “Wait- they are admitting that these Governments are regulating the right to assemble and exercise free speech?
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Protests have increased in recent days across the U.S. over state restrictions that residents say are unnecessary and a clear infringement on their First Amendment. The protesters say that the restrictions are destroying the economy and the ability to provide for their families.
Critics of the protests say these restrictions are in place to prevent a wider spread of the coronavirus and these protesters are inconsiderate and put other lives at risk.
Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook will continue to be a platform for debate, but “there’s a line on this.”
“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,” he said.
A representative for Facebook told the Hill that the events that the only events that would be taken down would be the ones in violation of state law.
Politico reported that Facebook has already removed posts from states like Nebraska and New Jersey.
President Trump has defended the protesters and said they are “expressing their views.”
“I see where they are, and I see the way they’re working,” he said. “They seem to be very responsible people to me, but it’s—you know, they’ve been treated a bit rough.”
Sen. Judy Ward, R-Pa., a nurse, said at a rally in Harrisburg Monday—where hundreds of protesters converged—voiced her concerns about protesters not wearing masks, but thanked them for coming out against Gov. Tom Wolf’s alleged overreach.
Fox News reported that Ward, a nurse, was booed briefly over her mask comment.
“You’re not here to protest caution, you’re here to protest silencing civilian voices,” she said.