Facebook rejects Oversight Board’s recommendation to ease COVID-19 policies
Facebook has responded to the Oversight Board’s recommendations for the first time. In total, the board listed 17 recommendations regarding content moderation and Facebook announced it will address 11 of them. The platform is still assessing the feasibility of 5 of the recommendations. Facebook is not bound to adopt the board’s recommendations, and as such rejected the board’s request to loosen its strict rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The recommendation particularly concerned Facebook’s decision to take down a post that referred to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as effective medications to the disease. The board recommended that the post should be put back online, and the platform should adopt less intrusive measures in instances where a potential for physical harm is identified but is not imminent. Facebook disagreed with the recommendation by stating ‘in consultation with global health authorities, we continue to believe our approach of removing COVID-19 misinformation that might lead to imminent harm is the correct one during a global pandemic’.