Trump Jr accuses Facebook of 'quashing freedom of speech' after removing posts of anti-lockdown protests

Greg Evans
Tuesday 21 April 2020 12:30
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Picture:(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Kevin Lamarque/ Reuters)

Donald Trump Jr is – yet again – not happy so has said something stupid and potentially dangerous in response.

As you may have seen, anti-lockdown protestors have taken to the streets of the United States to bemoan the fact that they cannot go to work because it might endanger their health and lives.

Due to the seriousness of the situation and the undoubted danger that it is causing to their communities, Facebook has been forced to remove any posts or pages promoting protests against the lockdown.

State officials from California, New Jersey and Nebraska reportedly informed Facebook that these gathering would be against state social distancing orders and they were promptly removed, however posts beyond those three states were still allowed to promote events, for the time being.

Rather than take a considered and thoughtful approach to this and encourage people to follow the advice of the CDC and stay home accept for essential trips, Trump Jr complained about Facebook removing the posts, claiming that they were 'quashing people's free speech.'

Trump Jr there seemingly misunderstanding the difference between a public health issue and the freedom of speech. Facebook has since clarified that although they are not obliged to provide people with a platform they will suppress people if it violates government guidance, which these protests clearly do. A spokesperson from the social media giant told Politico:

Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organised on Facebook. 

For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.

The Democratic governor of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal has praised Facebook's decision to remove the posts, which he claimed were "undermining the fight against Covid-19".

At the time of writing the United States has confirmed more than 744,000 cases of coronavirus, more than any other country in the world and it has resulted in at least 34,331 deaths.

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