Facebook Lifts Ban On Posts That Claim Covid-19 Was Man-Made

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Facebook has lifted a ban on posts claiming Covid-19 was man-made, following a resurgence of interest in the “lab leak” theory of the disease’s onset.

The social network says its new policy comes “in light of ongoing investigations into the origin”.

Social network says policy comes ‘in light of ongoing investigations into the origin’ of virus.

In February, Facebook explicitly banned the claim, as part of a broad policy update aimed at “removing more false claims about Covid-19 and vaccines”. In a public statement at the time, it said: “Following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.”

Did Covid come from a Wuhan lab?

Anyone posting claims that Covid-19 was “man-made or manufactured” could have seen their posts removed or restricted, and repeatedly sharing the allegation could have led to a ban from the site entirely.

On Wednesday, the company said: “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. 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.”

The change follows a Wall Street Journal report that US intelligence sources believe there is some evidence to warrant further investigation of the “lab leak” theory. According to the newspaper, three staff members at the Wuhan Institute for Virology sought hospital treatment for flu-like symptoms in November 2019. Others have criticised the reporting, noting that it still relies on circumstantial evidence and speculation.

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