Now that coronavirus (COVID-19) is officially a pandemic, and the entire world has come to a still. It has caused a frenzy in people’s daily lives. But everyone, including big tech giants, is playing their parts equally. Back in February, when coronavirus just started to spread around, Facebook took a step to keep its users informed. As WHO declared it a global health emergency, Facebook made it to its hand to shun any misinformation spread among its users.
But now, it seems like even the correct and necessary information is being shunned in the social media network.
Facebook Wrongly Blocking News Articles
Multiple Facebook users report that they couldn’t share or post relevant articles about coronavirus. No one is sure what the real reason is yet. However, it appears to be a bug in its spam filters.
Users were unable to share articles from sites like BuzzFeed, Business Insider, and The Times of Israel. Users flooded Twitter on Tuesday after they failed to share legitimate news regarding the coronavirus situation.
Something is going on on Facebook. I’ve seen four separate people in the past couple hours saying their posts about coronavirus were marked as “spam”. And one of them is an epidemiologist.
— Aylan (AY like Day – LAN like LandBack) Couchie (@AylanX) March 17, 2020
.@Facebook your review system is broken AF — This is the 3rd in two weeks "GOES AGAINST OUR COMMUNITY STANDARDS" for a share from a known publication.
— Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) March 17, 2020
Facebook Speaks Back
Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, has addressed the issue via his Twitter. He first shared that the company was working to fix the problem that happens to be a 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.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) March 17, 2020
Hours later, Guy took to Twitter again to report that the problem was fixed. He shared that it was an “issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites.” And Facebook was “able to restore all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics.”
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.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) March 18, 2020
Facebook also joined hands with companies like Google, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The companies shared a joint statement committing to fight against coronavirus-related misinformation and fraud.