MICHIGAN - The Mid-Michigan Masked Bandits Facebook page created by Walt Sorg (co-founder of Voters not Politicians) quickly expanded a few weeks ago, and has continued to do so. This is a community-based group firmed to identify the Michigan businesses that are enforcing the use of face masks, and those that don’t.
“For me it was personal in the beginning, I am a senior with severe health conditions and I believe the scientists,” said Sorg.
MMMB started as a public group with a few of Sorg's friends to keep each other updated, but exploded when his number went from 30 people to over 450 members overnight.
“Originally anyone could join, you clicked on it and you were in. But we were getting trolled from all over the state in a matter of 24 hours, I spent six solid hours censoring trolls,” said Sorg.
The Facebook group has since become private. To join, one has to answer a series of screening questions to be approved and access the page. The group has six cardinal rules that members’ posts must comply with.
Rules from administrators:
1 No promotion of defying Exec Orders
2 No Boycotts
3 No Political/Scientific Debates
4 Be kind and courteous
5 No hate speech or bullying
6 No promotions or spam
Some of the business listed on this website include local restaurants, hardware stores and grocery stores. Tom’s Food Center in Okemos received good marks for mask usage.
“Even though we got good reviews, I think their hearts are in the right place, but this whole thing has become so divisive,” said Vice President of Tom’s Food Center, Steve Antaya.
After contacting the Meridian Township Police Department to see if there had been reports of mask problems in the area, Lieutenant Rick Grillo said those types of calls have been few and far between.
“We take it as a case by case basis. As far as writing tickets, that is not something that we have done at all during this time. Usually we tell someone to put on a mask or that they need to leave and there is compliance there,” said Grillo.
The Mid-Michigan Masked Bandits Facebook page is continuing to grow in number as more people in the community are focusing on staying safe.