Facebook has updated its content moderation policy surrounding the pandemic to allow users to post claims that Covid-19 is a man-made virus. This comes just days after The Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that researchers at the Wuhan Lab got sick from the virus.
The report claims that researchers at the Wuhan Lab got flu-like symptoms in November 2019 and had to seek hospital care. While experts have criticized the newspaper for publishing a report based on circumstantial evidence and speculation, Facebook said that it will now allow people to share posts claiming that Covid-19 was man-made. The company updated its blog post about Covid-19 misinformation with the following statement:
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 or manufactured from our apps. 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.
While, the social media giant will allow users to discuss the origin of the pandemic on the platform, it will not allow any sort of misinformation. Just yesterday, Facebook announced that it will warn users about pages that regularly share conspiracy theories or post misinformation. According to the new rules, pages who share misinformation will have their posts suppressed and Facebook will show a pop-up warning to the users.