Facebook lifts ban on 'lab leak' posts as US investigates origin of coronavirus

WION Web Team
San Francisco, United StatesUpdated: May 28, 2021, 12:57 PM IST
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This comes months after Facebook had started to block and ban posts that claimed COVID-19 was made-made or manufactured in a lab

In light of the ongoing investigation into the origin of the deadly coronavirus, social media giant Facebook has decided to lift the ban on posts that claim COVID-19 was man-made and/or a result of a "lab leak".

"Following consultations with leading health organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines," Facebook said in a  statement.

This comes months after Facebook had started to block and ban the posts that claimed COVID-19 was made-made or manufactured in a lab. Such posts were being restricted or removed, and not complying with the guidelines was leading to a complete ban of the erring accounts from the platform itself. Facebook claims this step was earlier aimed at "removing more false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines".

However, things seem to be changing now due to the ongoing investigation into the origins of coronavirus now.

This has come after a US-based newspaper, Wall Street Journal, published an investigative story that claimed the US intelligence believes there is a possibility that this virus was created due to a "lab leak" in China’s Wuhan.

The newspaper claims in November 2019, three people from the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment for flu-like symptoms.

While it has not yet been concluded whether or not coronavirus was a lab leak, Facebook is making sure it fights misinformation against the disease, without imposing a ban on irrelevant information.

Facebook has now tightened its rules against sharing and spreading misinformation related to coronavirus, elections, and more.


"Whether it's false or misleading content about COVID-19 and vaccines, climate change, elections or other topics, we're making sure fewer people see misinformation on our apps," Facebook said in the statement.

The social media giant has also come up with a way of warning people against following any page that actively indulges in spreading fake news.

Facebook will, now, give a pop-up notice with a warning of the page's sharing history, for the pages that actively share false information.