FACEBOOK has backtracked on its decision to ban all posts that claim Covid-19 is a ‘man-made’ virus.
Several experts have said the theory cannot be ruled out and US President Joe Biden has called for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
Facebook banned the posts back in February this yearCredit: AFP
Biden recently told reporters that officials are looking into “whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”
A report of their findings will be ready within 90 days.
In response to this, Facebook has u-turned on its controversial decision to ban posts that insinuate Covid-19 is a ‘man-made’ virus.
A Facebook spokesperson told Politico: “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps.
The Biden administration is looking into the origin of Covid-19Credit: Rex
“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”
However, some experts think there’s not enough strong evidence to suggest Covid-19 came from a lab.
Back in February this year, Facebook said that it would remove any suggestion that Covid-19 is “man-made or manufactured”.
Scientists have been unable to determine the exact origin of Covid-19.
WHO concluded the virus likely jumped to humans from an animal – but now the question is to where this occurred as doubt was cast over the wet market as the source of the original transmission.
The team also admitted the virus could have been circulating in other regions of China “several weeks” before it was identified after an outbreak at the wet market in Wuhan.
Facebook faced some opposition for its ban at the time as several experts warned the platform to be more cautious about quickly banning posts.
Jim Killock, who heads up the Open Rights Group, told Mail Online: “There is always a fine line between material that seeks to deceive, and people expressing legitimate concerns about their health.
“Facebook need to reassure the public that their rights to criticise and examine Government health policy will not be swept away by careless moderators.”
Facebook said it worked with health organisations to create its list of banned claims as it tries to battle fake news.
Why does it feel like Facebook is snooping on you?
Here’s what you need to know…
- The magic of targeted advertising is that it should feel relevant to you – even if you can’t figure out why.
- Facebook doesn’t need to spy on your real-life conversations, because you hand over so much information anyway.
- Follow this link and you’ll be able to download everything Facebook knows about you. Most of you will quickly realise it’s a staggering amount of information.
- Advertisers can use information gleaned from your activity all across the web, on multiple devices, even if you’re not logged into Facebook or other services.
- They’ll likely know where you live, what you like, who your friends are, how much money you make, your political beliefs and much more.
- So when you get ads for something you’ve talked about out loud, it’s almost certainly just advertisers being very good at predicting your interests.
- It’s also possible that there’s an advertising campaign running, and you’ve seen an ad and not noticed. You’ve then spoken about it, never realising you’ve been advertised to, and only then notice future ads – which suddenly seem suspicious.
- Let’s say you talked about a holiday to Scotland, and then all of a sudden you’re being advertised holidays to Scotland.
- You may never have searched for anything to do with that before.
- But Facebook could use info about your level of wealth, your past holiday interests, the time of year (ads for wintry Scottish retreats are common in the colder months), and your location.
- What seems like snooping is actually just clever advertising.
In other news, you can now password-protect your Google Search history so prying eyes don’t see it.
Microsoft Teams just got some new features that could help it rival WhatsApp.
And, Facebook is facing backlash in the US over plans to create a version of Instagram for children under 13.
What are your thoughts on Facebook? Let us know in the comments…
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