"This is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any change
in our content moderator workforce," Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice
president for integrity, said on Twitter.
"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," he said.
Facebook users shared screenshots with Reuters of notifications
they had received saying articles from prominent news
organizations including Axios and The Atlantic had violated the
company's community guidelines.
One user said she received a message saying "link is not
allowed" after attempting to post a Vox article about the
coronavirus in her Instagram profile.
The issue arose a day after Facebook announced that it was
sending home for public health reasons all contract workers who
perform content review services for the social media giant,
which mostly outsources the work to independent companies.
"We believe the investments we've made over the past three years
have prepared us for this situation," Facebook wrote in a blog
post announcing the move, adding it would increase its reliance
on "proactive detection" to remove violating content.
"That said, there may be some limitations to this approach and
we may see some longer response times and make more mistakes as
a result," the post said.
(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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