- On Tuesday evening Facebook users began complaining of posts related to the coronavirus being marked as spam
- Posts not related to the coronavirus were also being marked as spam according to multiple Twitter users
- Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said the issue was due to a “bug in the anti-spam system”
As the world continues to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, Facebook appears to be glitching out and marking articles related to the coronavirus and other content as spam.
Whether the company wants to admit it or not, Facebook has become one of the largest online platforms for people to stay updated with news from around the world. For years there has been concern over the unknown amount of control Facebook holds over the information being shared on the platform.
It would seem some of those fears are coming to fruition as a bug in Facebook’s system is marking articles related to the coronavirus from credible outlets as spam. Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said in a tweet that posts were being mistakenly marked as spam due to a “bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce.” Rosen said the company is “in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back.”
We're on this – this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We're in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back. More soon.— Guy Rosen (@guyro) March 17, 2020
While it was initially reported only links related to coronavirus were being marked as spam, users claimed content completely unrelated to the virus were also falling victim to the renegade censorship. One Twitter user showed a screenshot of a post related to PlayStation 5 being removed as spam.
@Facebook flagged me for making fun & reposting on my timeline of this spam of PlayStation 5 that Facebook approved in the 1st place as a advertisement! ￼YOU SUCK Facebook I always prove everything! pic.twitter.com/VMQQ8xSCgy— Richard Tamez Umali (@RichTamezUmali) March 18, 2020
Another tweet showed a screenshot where an article about the ‘Carol Burnett Show’ actor Lyle Waggoner’s death was marked as spam.
While it looks like no content is safe from the current Facebook bug, the vast majority of posts being marked as spam are related to COVID-19. The bug could not come at a worse time. As people try to come to terms with being isolated for an indefinite amount of time and more than ever needing places to turn to find reliable information, Facebook is currently adding to fears and a growing number of conspiracy theories centered around COVID-19.
Facebook has received backlash over the years for censoring information on the platform from independent media, cannabis advocates, and government watchdog groups, just to name a few. Countless Facebook pages have been removed despite the number of followers, years established, or money spent on promotion. Needless to say, as America begins entering quarantine procedures, Facebook is off to a horrifying start in regards to the flow of information to the general public.
Conveniently, it is all the Coronavirus posts I made on Facebook in the last 24 hours.— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) March 18, 2020
I mean…my Tom Brady post didn't get blocked. Curious. pic.twitter.com/E0YNoNv9Sp
#Facebook figures out how to make things worse…again. Censoring legitimate #Covid19 posts. Brilliant. https://t.co/lpd93W7vQw #censorship @niemanfdn @karaswisher @EthanZ @EricaAmerica So far I've had 3 posts pulled and have heard of a dozen others. pic.twitter.com/I7J2ogel75— j.a.ginsburg (@TrackerNews) March 18, 2020
#Facebook allegedly blocking mass media reporting, due to a computer glitch. In addition, POTUS #nationalemergency #coronavirus response, I posted was blocked and a Facebook message was sent back. pic.twitter.com/DndiP3T55D— ByronJ.Walker™Quotes (@ByronJWalker) March 18, 2020