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Facebook mistakenly deleted legitimate news articles in bid to fight misinformation

In a bid to fight misinformation on social media about coronavirus pandemic, Facebook got a little overzealous and mistakenly deleted some legitimate news articles from its news feed that provided information about coronavirus.

The issue reportedly took place due to a bug in the anti-spam system, reports the verge

The issue was reported by several Twitter users including some journalists. They shared that Facebook had removed their articles from the news feed because it found them as being against their community standards.




A Twitter user claimed that all these bugs are arising because the content moderators are sent home for work. It looks like an anti-spam rule at FB is going haywire. Facebook sent home content moderators yesterday, who generally can’t WFH due to privacy commitments the company has made. We might be seeing the start of the ML going nuts with less human oversight, a user wrote.

To which, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen replied saying that they are trying to fix the bug in an anti-spam system. We’re on this – this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We’re in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back. More soon, Rosen wrote.

Rosen later issued a statement on Twitter declaring that Facebook has restored all the posts that were mistakenly deleted. We’ve restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics – not just those related to COVID-19. This was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too, he wrote.



Just a day ago, the tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Linkedin, Youtube and Reddit issued a joint statement announcing that they have joined forces to combat false claims and conspiracy theories on coronavirus from their platforms. We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe, the joint statement read.


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