Facebook has admitted to deleting an event page promoting an upcoming protest against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and draconian lockdown measures she has implemented across the state.
The demonstration, which is scheduled to take place in Lansing on April 30, was being publicized on the social media network on an event page titled, “Rally on the State Capitol Lawn,” which was allegedly reported to Facebook by other users.
Attendees hope to convince Michigan lawmakers to reject Gov. Whitmer’s request to extend the state of emergency for another 28 days.
Facebook staff have since deleted the event, claiming it violates company policies against advertising public assemblies which defy local social distancing rules.
“We reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders, not about removing specific protests on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told MLive.
“We remove the posts when gatherings do not follow the health parameters established by the government and are therefore unlawful.”
The social media giant has deleted similar events organized in California, Nebraska, and New Jersey under the same justification.
“Mark Zuckerberg has publicly stated that Facebook is a champion of ‘free expression,'” a Michigan resident told Infowars. “Yet his company is now aggressively suppressing the speech of lockdown protestors who are merely petitioning their government for redress of grievances.”
“Even Gov. Whitmer’s executive order does not prohibit the residents of Michigan from engaging in expressive activities protected by the First Amendment as long as CDC social distancing guidelines are followed.”
Protest organizers plan to push ahead with the demonstration, creating a second event page which also appears to have been removed from Facebook.
The newly-christened “American Patriot Rally on Capital Lawn” is scheduled to take place in Lansing from 9am to 2pm on Thursday, April 30.
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