Apologies might be in order.
After removing more than 18 million posts about the coronavirus pandemic, removing or shadow-banning thousands of users, Facebook caved and accepted science.
The social media giant announced that it will no longer remove posts that claim that the COVID-19 virus is man-made.
“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 from our apps,” Facebook’s spokesperson said.
In February, the company announced it would start deleting posts with “misinformation about COVID-19.” At the time, this included claims that the virus was man-made. The company has deleted 18 million posts from users that don’t accept the mainstream narrative on the pandemic.
The company also announced it has made accounts that are critical of the mainstream narrative more difficult to find, effectively shadow-banning them.
Facebook reversed its policy after new findings showed that the leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology could be the potential origin of the virus.
Just a day before Facebook’s announcement, President Joe Biden revealed that he has directed the U.S. intelligence community to investigate the origins of the virus. The investigation will include two potential origin theories: animal contact or lab leak.
It is Facebook’s policy to remove content that spreads “misinformation” or “conspiracy theories.” The only problem is that the official stance on what constitutes misinformation often changes.
“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,” the company’s spokesperson said on Thursday. He did not apologize to the people who had their accounts restricted or removed.