California legislator wants Facebook to dump shoving video


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator who was shoved by an anti-vaccine activist says Facebook is deliberately giving…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator who was shoved by an anti-vaccine activist says Facebook is deliberately giving a platform to violence by not removing a video of the incident.

Democratic Sen. Richard Pan was walking on a street near the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday when 54-year-old Kenneth Austin Bennett confronted him with a camera. Video of the incident shows Bennett shoving Pan in the back.

Sacramento police confirmed that Bennett was cited for misdemeanor assault and released

A video of the confrontation is on Facebook.

Pan, a doctor, has been a target of protests because he has authored several bills that seek to limit exemptions for child vaccinations. This year, he has a bill that would crack down on doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions.

Pan stood on the Senate floor Thursday and said he had asked Facebook to remove the video but was told “it’s not violent enough” to exceed standards

“Facebook is deliberately giving a platform to this violence, and perhaps inciting other people to do the same,” Pan said.

Representatives of Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook’s community standards on violence and criminal behavior state the company tries “to prevent potential offline harm that may be related to content on Facebook,” including removing “language that incites or facilitates serious violence.”

Earlier this year, Facebook said it was beginning to remove access to some of its fundraising tools to “pages that violate our vaccine misinformation policies.”

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