Facebook Bug Marked News Stories As Spam, Including Coronavirus Articles

Facebook Bug Marked News Stories As Spam, Including Coronavirus Articles

The Facebook news feed spam filter was malfunctioning on Wednesday, which has resulted in legitimate news articles being marked as spam. But Facebook has said its just a bug, which has now been fixed.|

Reports on Twitter indicated a significant proportion of these posts were related to coronavirus and that important news was being deleted.

However, it’s not just COVID-19 posts that were filtered out, but news articles in general. It’s possible that the large number of posts being written about COVID-19 at the moment, and therefore the deletion of them, makes it seem like the subject was being targeted by the spam filter.

One Twitter user theorised that this issue began after Facebook allegedly sent moderators home on Tuesday.

Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, Guy Rosen, responded to this tweet and refuted the claim. Rosen said there is a bug in the anti-spam system and that the issue is unrelated to Facebook’s moderators.

Rosen also stated that Facebook is working to get the impacted posts back up on the platform.

Fortunately the issue has now apparently been fixed, so news feed posts should return to normal.

“We’ve restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, both related to COVID-19 and not. This was an issue in our automated systems to remove spammy links from being shared on Facebook,” said Facebook’s Head of Communications in Australia, Antonia Sanda, in an email to Gizmodo Australia.

Back in January Facebook, along with Google and other social media platforms, announced it would get rid of conspiracy theory posts about COVID-19.

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