Groups promoting protests against state health mandates to limit the spread of Covid-19 continue publishing posts about a rally in Lincoln this Saturday and next Friday despite Facebook claiming it took them down Monday.
Pictures posted by Media Matters for America, a non-profit conservative media watchdog, show several posts on a group called “Reopen Nebraska” alluding to protests in Lincoln outside the Capitol April 25 and May 1. The names are redacted from the posts but one conversation says attendees can protest from their cars as well as on the steps of the Capitol with signs and flags like similar states.
“Firearms optional,” the poster said. “I believe all other states have been armed at their protests.”
One poster said protesters ability to gather would likely be easier than in other states due to Nebraska’s lack of a formal stay-at-home order. Gov. Pete Ricketts has repeatedly said the state doesn’t need a more restrictive order that would require people to stay in their homes and further limit public activity. Nebraska has mandated social distancing and forced several businesses to close or adjust their services.
Two groups with the name “ReOpen Nebraska,” one with 205 members and another with 81, appeared through a Facebook search Thursday morning. Another post in “Omaha Gun Talk,” promoted protests on the same days with similar information. Media Matters for America also included “Nebraskans Against Government Outreach” and “Nebraskans against government takeover” as other groups promoting similar action.
On Monday, a Facebook spokesperson told CNN the company had taken down posts in California, New Jersey and Nebraska at the request of those governors. Ricketts said he did not request those posts be taken down.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media company would remove any posts that said social distancing is ineffective or promoted events that would violate the 10-person crowd limit and six-foot distance rule.