Facebook bug blocks users from posting coronavirus news articles

Kyle Chua
Facebook bug blocks users from posting coronavirus news articles
Facebook says it has resolved the issue and restored affected posts

MANILA, Philippines – Facebook on Tuesday, March 17, started blocking its users from posting and sharing news articles about COVID-19 due to a bug in its content moderation software, as reported by The Verge.

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, explained that there was a problem with the automated system that removes links to abusive websites, causing it to remove legitimate posts as well.

He added that the issue has since been resolved and the affected posts have been restored.

“We’ve restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics – not just those related to COVID-19,” Rosen wrote in a tweet.

“This was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too.”

Lack of human oversight? Not so, says Facebook

Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos speculated that the problem arose because of a lack of human oversight, with the social media firm allegedly sending their content moderation team home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“It looks like an anti-spam rule at FB is going haywire,” Stamos wrote in a tweet. “Facebook sent home content moderators yesterday, who generally can’t WFH [work from home] due to privacy commitments the company has made. We might be seeing the start of the ML [machine learning] going nuts with less human oversight.”

Rosen clarified the problem was unrelated to any changes in their content moderation workforce.

 

Facebook joined a number of major tech platforms yesterday to commit to fight coronavirus-related fraud and misinformation. – Rappler.com

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