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Feehan says La Crosse County GOP Facebook page had no warning of punishment for sharing “false” posts

Rick Solem

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One of two posts shared recently by the La Crosse County Republican Party has been flagged by Facebook as fake news. (screenshot)

La Crosse County Republican Party Chair Bill Feehan said Facebook gave no warning for banning them from advertising, after the GOP page was flagged for sharing false posts.

Sharing those posts also caused the social media giant to reduce the county GOP party’s page views.

Facebook has over 2.63 billion users. The La Crosse County Republican Party page is one of 80 million “pages” but one Facebook was apparently targeting, according to Feehan.

“They were looking for any excuse to shut us down, and they did,” Feehan said Wednesday on La Crosse Talk. “And they pulled these ads that we were running.”

One of the “FALSE” posts shared by the party was an anti-mask story from the conservative website “The Federalist,” citing a small CDC study of 314 people who had close contact with the virus.

The Federalist headline: “CDC Study Finds Overwhelming Majority Of People Getting Coronavirus Wore Masks”

“But the two posts that we listed, the source is the CDC,” Feehan said. “The CDC is who’s telling us that masks are not a panacea — they won’t stop you from getting the disease. The great majority of people that get the disease wore masks.”

Unless they are N-95 masks, they do not help prevent people from getting the virus, but masks do help those infected from spreading it.

Later in the interview, Feehan does bring up how masks protect people from “somebody sneezing or coughing the virus into the air.”

But, right after that, Feehan adds, “Wearing the mask does not totally protect you from getting this virus. Look at the president,” as if President Donald Trump and this around him are always the pillars of mask wearing.

The CDC study cited in the story is of those 314 people with close contact — 154 symptomatic adults who contracted the virus and 160 symptomatic adults who didn’t — all from the same health care facility, a majority of that 154 (70.6%) wore maks.

The interesting nugget from those 154, who contracted the virus: they were twice as likely to dine at a restaurant in the two weeks before becoming infected, as well as more likely to go to a bar or coffee shop. All places, of course, where you would not be wearing a mask most of the time.

In Facebook’s flagging of the post, it provides links to two articles — one from HealthFeedback.org and another from LeadStories.com — that debunk the article.

Another one of the deemed “false” posts on the La Crosse County Republican Party Facebook page was a meme quoting Trump that Feehan seemed to think was humorous. It, however, was not an actual quote by the president, which may or may not have been obvious — or humorous.

“It’s a joke,” Feehan told host Mike Hayes.

Asked how many “FALSE” posts the La Crosse County Democratic Party Facebook page had shared, the page administrator said, “None.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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