By Jon King /

A Facebook page for group that forced the cancellation of a Howell School Board of Education meeting and publicly fought against COVID restrictions has been temporarily disabled.

A notice on the Facebook page for Unmask Livingston and Surrounding Areas states that it was temporarily disabled by the social media platform for “violating our Community Standards for violence and incitement.” The closed group page had attracted more than 1,500 members, at least some of whom were not sympathetic to their cause, regularly sending out screenshots of various posts about the group’s activities.

One of those who said she was targeted by the group is Kasey Helton of Howell. Helton, who unsuccessfully ran for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners last year as a Democrat, shared screenshots with WHMI from the groups’ page that she says were sent to her. They appear to show group members trying to figure out who it is that has infiltrated their page, and at one point a member posted that they should “start considering physical harm” while other posts referred to Helton as ”evil” and “nasty.” Helton says Unmask Livingston members then published her personal information including both her phone number and that of her father and a Google map to her house.

Despite that, Helton insists that she is not the one who has infiltrated the group nor did she report the group to Facebook, noting that because it is a closed group, only members could do that, which she called, “a real problem.” However, she says the posts were all violations of Facebook’s Terms of Service, which prohibits content that is threatening or discloses private, personal information, so it was no surprise to her they are under review. “There are many organizations who do great, positive activism in this county, but UMLC is not one of them. They know they can’t win their argument based solely on the mountains of medical evidence that favors masks and vaccines, so they target individuals like myself who disagree with them and share public posts they created harassing store clerks and community leaders.”

Unmask Livingston gained notoriety last month when members arrived at the April 12th meeting of the Howell Public Schools Board of Education meeting but refused to wear masks, forcing the board to adjourn and reschedule the meeting to avoid violating state health department orders. A video of group members confronting Howell Superintendent Erin MacGregor after the meeting had been adjourned was sent to WHMI by someone who had access to the page. They used their phone to record the video off of a computer screen and sent it without any other details.

The video garnered numerous critical comments of the group and their actions, with many on social media saying their actions were “foolish” and reminiscent of a “toddler temper tantrum.” The group later contested the copyright of the video, forcing YouTube to remove it. When questioned why they no longer wanted the public to see a video of their actions, a video that they shot and posted to their page, they did not respond.

Screenshots from the group’s private chat that were also leaked indicate that many of the members have since joined a similar page set up on the Telegram social media website.

A request for comment has been made to one of the known members of Unmask Livingston, but has yet to be returned.