Facebook removed more than 1 million posts for COVID-19 False Information – Facebook and its photo-service Instagram pulled down more than 1 million pieces of content during the last three months of 2020 for containing misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to “imminent harm.”
This content included fake preventative measures for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and exaggerated cures, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said Thursday in a press call.
The social media giant has been taking a tougher stance against health misinformation since the coronavirus pandemic started last week. On Monday, Facebook said it’s expanding a list of debunked claims about COVID-19 and vaccines it doesn’t allow on its platforms.
Some of the false claims include stating that the coronavirus is human-made or manufactured or that vaccines are more dangerous than getting the disease. Groups, pages, and accounts on the main social network and Instagram that share these false claims repeatedly could get pulled down altogether.
Facebook removed more than 1 million posts for COVID-19 False Information
“After the pandemic is over, we will continue to talk to health authorities and make sure that we are striking the right approach going forward consistent with our misinformation, policies, and principles,” said Monika Bickert, who oversees global policy management at Facebook.
A new oversight board tasked with reviewing some of the social network’s toughest content moderation decisions have challenged some of the company’s calls on COVID-19 misinformation. In January, the board overturned Facebook’s decision to pull down a COVID-19 post for its potential to cause harm.
The board found the social network’s rules addressing health misinformation “to be inappropriately vague” and urged the company to create a new standard.
Facebook said the percentage of times a user sees hate speech, nudity and violent and graphic content on its platform is also dropping. There are 7 to 8 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content, Facebook said. In the fourth quarter, the company said it took action against 26.9 million pieces of hate speech content, up from 22.1 million in the third quarter.
Facebook attributed this uptick to technological updates in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. There were 6.6 million pieces of hate speech content that Instagram took action against in the fourth quarter.
Facebook also said it’s catching more bullying and harassment content before it’s reported by users thanks to technological updates used to detect hurtful comments. The company took against 6.3 million pieces of content for bullying and harassment content, up from 3.5 million in the previous quarter. Instagram took action against 5 million pieces of bullying and harassment content.