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Protests against stay-at-home orders erupted in the streets of at least 10 states, thanks to prominent members of the gun lobby and the president himself.
These protesters brought children. They brought guns. They blocked ambulances from getting into a hospital. And their demand to re-open the country well before public health experts say we're ready is putting frontline workers, who are mostly women, in grave danger.
How did several public safety-endangering protests happen despite nationwide measures against the coronavirus? Facebook.
Three gun lobbyists in Minnesota created Facebook pages to spread misinformation and encourage these in-person protests in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. From there, similar Facebook pages spread to several more states. Trump has publicly supported these protests, claiming protesters are "liberating" their states.
The good news is that Facebook regulates content that incites harm or violence against others, which these right-wing forums are clearly doing. In fact, Facebook has been aggressively banning harmful content, including ones that concern COVID, following years of criticism and advocacy from people across the country. With the company under intense scrutiny once again, if enough of us speak out we can make Facebook enforce its own policy and shut down these dangerous right-wing pages.