Facebook Spam Filter Blocked Legitimate Links Related To Coronavirus Due To A Software Bug

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Facebook has an advanced Spam Filter on its platform, which removes fake and highly reported news from its platform. However, its spam filter malfunctioned on Tuesday, which results in blocking links to legitimate websites and preventing users from sharing them, including some links to coronavirus information.

Although this spam filter didn’t blocked all the links related to coronavirus information, some of the articles from legitimate sites were reportedly blocked. Facebook said it was aware of the issue and working on a solution. By 6:30 p.m., a company executive said it fixed the problem, but some users said they were still running into the issue.

“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, who oversees Facebook’s work on safety and integrity, said in a tweet. However, he didn’t mention the count of links blocked by this error in the spam filter. 

Facebook added this tool on its platform to avoid people sharing false information that might create a panic situation among the users. Hoaxes about the novel coronavirus include false claims that it’s caused by 5G or drinking bleach will cure the virus. However, all these hoaxes are proved to be false by the officials. 

Attorney Mike Godwin said in a tweet that Facebook also marked a coronavirus-related Times of Israel article as spam. “Facebook decided that my posting of this Times of Israel article is spam. (It’s not spam.),” Godwin tweeted.

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