If you have posted news about the ongoing health crisis and it was marked as spam by Facebook then you’re not alone. Several users are now reporting that they have shared news regarding the current coronavirus outbreak which was wrongly marked at spam by Facebook and was taken down by the company.
Facebook users turned to Twitter to report the problem and some even went as far as calling it censorship from Facebook.
Facebook is currently suffering from a partial outage causing links to legitimate coronavirus related content being wrongly flagged as spam.
Big name publishers titles are having links to their content flagged.
Some page reporting a massive drop in post reach currently.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) March 17, 2020
Something is going on on Facebook. I’ve seen four separate people in the past couple hours saying their posts about coronavirus were marked as “spam”. And one of them is an epidemiologist.
Then my link to the Canadian gov’s website about EI was removed too. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/tFAUqLzHus
— Aylan (AY like Day – LAN like LandBack) Couchie (@AylanX) March 17, 2020
While people jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon, the company’s VP of Integrity, Guy Rosen assured users that it was just a bug in ” an anti-spam system” and the company issued a patch to fix the problem.
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
We’ve restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics – not just those related to COVID-19. This was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) March 18, 2020
At the time of writing, the issue seems to have been fixed. We don’t exactly know what caused the issue in the first place but Guy Rosen assured it had nothing to do with the moderators who were finally sent home from offices on Tuesday, as part of social distancing efforts to slow the spread of the virus.