Facebook reverses ban on content suggesting Covid-19 is man-made

Social media's position as arbiter of truth once again in the spotlight

May 27, 2021

Facebook has reversed its policy banning posts suggesting Covid-19 emerged from a laboratory amid renewed debate over the origins of the virus, raising fresh questions about social media's role in policing misinformation.

The latest move by Facebook, announced late Wednesday on its website, highlights the challenge for the world's largest social network of rooting out false and potentially harmful content while remaining open for discourse.

"In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that Covid-19 is man-made," the statement said...

"Information changes over time, and responsible organizations – social media outlets and fact-checkers alike – make decisions based on the best information available but remain open and willing to change their evaluations as new information arises," Rebekah Tromble, director of Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics at George Washington University told AFP.

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