Facebook Labeled 50 Million Coronavirus Posts as Misinformation in April

Sean Burch

Facebook on Tuesday said it put “warning labels” on “about 50 million pieces of content” in April related to the coronavirus pandemic, with the tech giant saying it’s “committed to preventing the spread of false and misleading information.”

The stat was shared in a blog post outlining how Facebook is leveraging artificial intelligence tools to quickly spot “misinformation”; the warning labels have been effective deterrents, the company added, with 95% of users deciding to skip reading a post they see is adorned with a warning label. On top of that, Facebook said it removed more than 2.5 million posts “for the sale of masks, hand sanitizers, surface disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 test kits” since March 1.

Facebook said it determined whether to put warning labels on coronavirus content based on “around 7,500 articles” its independent fact-checkers use to decide what is and isn’t fake news.

Also Read: Facebook Will Remove Content Organizing Protests Against Stay-at-Home Orders, Zuckerberg Says

The company shared the following picture, claiming COVID-19 was found in toilet paper, as an example of misinformation it took action against:

Facebook’s content moderation teams have been handicapped by the widespread stay-at-home orders tied to the pandemic, forcing the company to lean heavily on AI to weed out posts.

“We’ve spent the last few years building tools, teams and technologies to help protect elections from interference, prevent misinformation from spreading on our apps and keep people safe from harmful content,” Facebook said in its blog post. “So when the COVID-19 crisis emerged, we had the tools and processes in place to move quickly and we were able to continue finding and removing content that violates our policies.”

Last month, for users who interacted with content it deemed “harmful misinformation,” Facebook started showing a post in their News Feed from the World Health Organization pushing back against fake coronavirus news. The WHO has faced its own share of criticism in recent months for downplaying mistakes made by the Chinese Communist Party in handling the outbreak.

Read original story Facebook Labeled 50 Million Coronavirus Posts as Misinformation in April At TheWrap