Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the country, and indeed the world, is under orders to stay at home to avoid spreading the disease further. However, there is a rising group of protesters who are going out and organizing to try to get the government reopened before it is safe to do so.
While speaking with “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos, Zuckerberg deemed the protests “misinformation” when asked about people using his popular social media platform to organize such protests.
Zuckerberg said bluntly:
“We do classify that as harmful misinformation and we take that down.”
Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to organizing, which makes it especially difficult for owners and staff of popular platforms to decide what to leave up and what to take down. There must be a balance between free speech and disinformation.
However, when fighting a crisis like COVID-19 pandemic, approaches must be more aggressive, and people have to realize that free speech does not come without consequences.
According to health experts, social distancing is the only way to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19. Therefore certain forms of content – especially those that would spread misinformation and harm people – must not be allowed to spread, just as we cannot allow the virus to continue to spread.
Other social media platforms are likely to follow in Mark Zuckerberg’s footsteps as this protest movement grows.
Watch the clip below:
ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Facebook teams up with researchers to help collect data on novel coronavirus in an effort to better equip health officials and the public moving forward amid the pandemic. https://t.co/goJzt9qVfT pic.twitter.com/A0KqrzT4Ru
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 20, 2020
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.