Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has been falsely flagging posts as spam that are from a number of legitimate news organizations such as the BBC, Axios, The Atlantic and USA Today. Users on Facebook and Twitter reported that innocuous, informative, or authentic news posts about the outbreak were being flagged as spam or removed.
Facebook's head of safety said on Tuesday a bug was responsible for posts on topics including coronavirus being erroneously marked as spam, prompting widespread complaints from users of both its flagship app and photo-sharing app Instagram. "Facebook sent home content moderators yesterday, who generally can't WFH (work from home) due to privacy commitments the company has made". We reached out to Facebook for comment and a company spokesperson told us "We're looking into this right now and working as quickly as possible to share information".
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A flurry of complaints regarding the issue surfaced on Twitter, with people calling out the social media giant for censoring information about a disease that has infected 2 lakh, killed almost 8,000 and still continues to spread.
Mr Rosen said the issue with news stories about coronavirus being removed was unrelated to a drop in human moderators available. "We're in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back".
"Your post goes against our Community Standards on spam", the alert says. "This was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too", he said. "We have these standards to prevent things like false advertising, fraud and security breaches".