Facebook will lift its ban on posts that claim COVID-19 was man-made or manufactured.
The ban was originally put into place on Feb. 8 after the company consulted the World Health Organization (WHO). Now, “in light of ongoing investigations,” the ban will be removed due to new debate around the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scoop: Facebook will no longer remove posts claiming Covid-19 was man-made, as support mounts for probes into the virus’ origins & the Wuhan lab-leak theory https://t.co/siVvfWDb2I tip @Techmeme
— Cristiano Lima (@viaCristiano) May 26, 2021
Claims that COVID-19 was man-made were on a list alongside false information like assertions that the virus doesn’t exist or that the vaccines cause autism, despite the lab-leak theory never being disproven. In relying on the WHO to initially add this claim to the list, Facebook relied on an investigation into the pandemic’s origin that was compromised by Chinese Communist Party influence. (RELATED: White House Won’t Say If US Review Of Lab Leak Theory Will Be Made Public)
A number of articles and posts about the lab-leak theory, which was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory by corporate media, were flagged and deleted by Facebook until now. Facebook has taken an aggressive stance toward alleged disinformation during the pandemic, stating that it put warning labels on more than 50 million pieces of content in the month of April 2020 alone based on articles from “independent fact-checkers.” (RELATED: Media Dismissed Lab Leak Theory Because Trump Talked About It, According To A Senior Washington Post Reporter)
Some of those fact-checkers, such as PolitiFact, are now retracting fact-checks that declared the lab-leak theory to be debunked. In recent weeks, more and more corporate media outlets and government officials that once dismissed the possibility that COVID-19 is man-made have granted the theory newfound legitimacy.