Facebook says erasing COVID-19 misinformation video ‘took longer than it should have’

Facebook says erasing COVID-19 misinformation video ‘took longer than it should have’


Facebook prides itself on overall moderation and removal of incorrect information COVID-19 which has been posted to its social network since March, but the company is now under pressure for failing to take action for several hours against the fast-moving Breitbart News viral video that promotes dangerous coronavirus theory and conspiracy treatments over the weekend.

The company now says the video removal “took longer than it should have,” in a statement, and the company will investigate the reasons. Before Facebook took action, the video — which featured non-experts who refused to wear masks while touting the healing of an unverified virus — was widely shared tens of millions of times, including by President Donald Trump and his son on Twitter. After starting to gain traction, Facebook and other social networks, including Twitter and YouTube, delete them and start trying to restrain their spread through repost.

COVID-19 misinformation video

“We’ve removed this video for making false claims about cures and prevention mentions for COVID-19. People who reacted to, commented on, or shared this video, will see messages directing them to authoritative information about the virus,” a spokesperson says. “It took us several hours to enforce against the video and we’re doing a review to understand why this took longer than it should have.” The company says it’s removed more than 7 million pieces of misleading or false content related to the coronavirus between April and June.

Read More: Twitter forced Donald Trump Jr. to delete tweets that spread incorrect information on COVID-19

New York Times journalist Kevin Roose, one of the first reporters to raise the alarm about the video’s alarming virality, theorized that the video remained up for so long because it had been posted by Breitbart News, an organization Facebook treats as equitable to mainstream media to appease conservatives who often complain about social media bias. Facebook communications employee Andy Stone said that was not true, writing in a reply, “This had nothing to do with newsworthiness and is not how our newsworthiness policy works.”

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