While all the social media platforms have pledged to fight against the spread of Coronavirus misinformation and hoaxes, a Facebook bug marked some informative and relevant articles as spam. A report by The Verge says a number of users tweeted about the issue on the evening of March 17, 2020.
— nocturnal animal. (@shoppurrr) March 17, 2020
Due to a bug in the News Feed spam filter, Facebook marked URLs of some big websites like USA Today, Medium and Buzzfeed as spam. As per the tweets, along with content related to Coronavirus, generic content was also marked as spam due to the bug.
Facebook’s Vice President Guy Rosen said that a bug in the anti-spam system of Facebook is causing the issue. He added in his statement that Facebook has started working to fix the bug.
However, after a few hours, Facebook removed the bug and restored the posts that were affected by it. As mentioned by Rosen, Facebook has restored all the incorrectly removed posts related to COVID-19 or any other general topic.
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
A report by Ranking Digital Rights claimed that Facebook’s current moderation policies will not be able to tackle the spread of Coronavirus misinformation. It goes without saying that, in order to fight against the spread of fake information related to Coronavirus, Facebook will be required to change its moderator policies.
Recently in a joint statement, Facebook along with tech giants like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and LinkedIn said that it will fight against Coronavirus misinformation.
Some of the users considered the bug was caused as a part of Facebook’s new moderator policies.