Facebook has decided to no longer ban content that claims Covid-19 is the result of human action | Photo: Bigstock
Facebook will no longer remove posts claiming the novel coronavirus is the result of human action, a spokesperson for the social network told Politico on Wednesday.
The move marks a reversal of policy introduced by the company in February, when Facebook announced it would eliminate what it called false and misleading health claims, including those that suggested that “Covid-19 was invented by man-made or manufactured ”in the laboratory. During the pandemic, the tech company began maintaining a list of claims rejected by health experts.
The spokesperson said Facebook would no longer treat content about the laboratory leak theory as a misleading statement, amid a recent debate over the origins of the virus.
“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 was created by humans in our applications,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement. by email. “We continue to work with health experts to monitor the evolution of the pandemic and to regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge.”
The tech giant’s move comes after a Wall Street Journal report found three scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology requested treatment at a hospital in late 2019 after showing symptoms associated with the coronavirus .
It also comes after President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his intention to ask intelligence agencies to “redouble” their efforts to uncover the source of the virus. The Biden administration may have “redoubled” its efforts, but halted an initiative by Trump’s State Department that sought to investigate the theory of the lab leak in Wuhan, citing concerns about the methodology.
Biden said on Wednesday that the intelligence community was considering two divergent explanations for the origins of Covid-19 and that the investigation should determine “whether the virus came from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki answered numerous questions from reporters during press conferences on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) delayed investigation into the roots of Covid-19, which led Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to demand an independent investigation without interference or international collaboration.
Facebook is the first major social media company to allow open debate on the hypothesis that the disease resulted from a laboratory accident in Wuhan on its platform, acknowledging the lack of scientific consensus on the origin of SARS-CoV- 2.
© National Review 2021. Published with permission. Original in English.