Protesters descended Wednesday on Facebook’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, leaving bodybags on the sidewalk.
The group, calling itself the “Real Facebook Oversight Board” (RFOB), posted photos of its handiwork and said, “Body bags line the street. Facebook disinformation kills.” (RELATED: Biden Stumbles Into A Facebook War)
HAPPENING NOW: In front of Facebook HQ in Washington DC 👀
Body bags line the street. Facebook disinformation kills. pic.twitter.com/GsKHkVPE2b
— The Real Facebook Oversight Board (@FBoversight) July 28, 2021
Several photos showed the bright blue bags, each with a sign that featured Facebook’s “F” logo and read “DISINFO KILLS.”
Activists put fake body bags outside Facebook’s DC office to protest #COVID19 misinformation on the platform.
Facebook claims it banned vaccine misinformation in February, but researchers found 689,000 anti-vaccine posts by a group of anti-vaxxers in the 2 months after. pic.twitter.com/czfrF7OmZw
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 28, 2021
Facebook critics @FBoversight are protesting the company’s handling of COVID-19 disinformation, placing body bags in front of its Washington DC office on the day it reports earnings. Photos from @jimbourg 📸 pic.twitter.com/dc2gfgaUrS
— Elizabeth Culliford (@eculliford) July 28, 2021
Facebook communications director Andy Stone responded to the protest, calling it a “cheap stunt” and argued that Facebook was taking real steps to combat the flow of disinformation.
Nothing if not consistent, the RFOB said they’d engage in cheap stunts and, lo and behold, they’re doing exactly that. Here’s the truth about the steps, not stunts, we’re taking to address this serious issue. https://t.co/5znmP22YeR
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) July 28, 2021
“The data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the US have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19. President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of Integrity, wrote in the article Stone cited.
The rush to blame Facebook came after President Joe Biden appeared to accuse the social media platform directly of killing people.
REPORTER: “What’s your message to platforms like Facebook?”
BIDEN: “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 16, 2021
Biden later walked back that statement, pivoting just a few days later to pin the blame on specific users rather than the platform as a whole.
Joe Biden: It’s not Facebook that is killing people, but Facebook users who are spreading “outrageous misinformation.” pic.twitter.com/qEifueCmva
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 19, 2021