Coronavirus: Facebook forced to restore Covid-19 posts following complaints

Social network says posts on coronavirus were incorrectly removed from platform

Facebook has been forced to restore some posts on its platform about Covid-19 which were incorrectly removed by automated systems that monitor content on the social network.

Some news publishers using the platform had complained that posts linking to articles about Covid-19 were being removed, or that they were being told that the post was against community standards on spam posts.

In a tweet on Tuesday night, a Facebook executive said posts had been incorrectly removed, including content related to non-Covid-19-related topics. Guy Rosen, the company's vice-president of integrity, wrote on Twitter that "this was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too".

In a statement earlier this week, which was issued before the incorrect removal of posts emerged, Facebook said it was removing content with “claims and conspiracy theories that have been debunked by the WHO (World Health Organisation) or other credible health experts and could cause harm to people who believe them”.


The company said it was focused on claims which would make someone less likely to seek treatment or more likely to get sick. “This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods – like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus – or claims that discourage treatment or create confusion about health resources that are available.”

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times