Over the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the world, Facebook took drastic measures to crack down on misinformation surrounding the disease and its treatments. However, according to the company’s leadership, it may soon begin allowing this potentially dangerous content back on its platforms.
To answer this question, Facebook is turning to its independent Oversight Board. In the company’s proposal, it wants to label or demote this content instead of removing it entirely.
“Meta is fundamentally committed to free expression and we believe our apps are an important way for people to make their voices heard. But some misinformation can lead to an imminent risk of physical harm, and we have a responsibility not to let this content proliferate,” Meta’s president of global affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post. “But resolving the inherent tensions between free expression and safety isn’t easy, especially when confronted with unprecedented and fast-moving challenges.”
No matter what the Oversight Board decides, this case is sure to cause a massive stir with politicians, advocates, and users. Facebook inserted itself into the tricky position of being the judge on this issue in the first place, and it could be extremely difficult for the company to disentangle itself now.
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