Facebook’s Zuckerberg defends actions on virus misinformation By Simon Jack

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has told the BBC that it had and would remove any content likely to result in “immediate and imminent harm” to users.

“Even if something isn’t going to lead to imminent physical harm, we don’t want misinformation to be the content that is going viral,” he said.

It removed Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s claim that scientists had “proved” there was a coronavirus cure.

This was removed because it was “obviously” not true, he said.

He also said that Facebook had removed content from groups claiming that the rollout of the 5G digital network was a cause of the spread of the virus and in some cases encouraged those who believed that to damage the networks physical infrastructure.

Facebook recently removed content from former broadcaster and conspiracy theorist David Icke for “repeatedly violating our policies on harmful misinformation”.

Mr Icke had suggested that 5G mobile phone networks are linked to the spread of the virus and in another video he suggested a Jewish group was behind the virus.

Mr Zuckerberg said: “We work with independent fact checkers. Since the Covid outbreak, they have issued 7,500 notices of misinformation which has led to us issuing 50 million warning labels on posts.

“We know these are effective because 95% of the time, users don’t click through to the content with a warning label.”

However, Facebook has insisted that unless there was the prospect of real imminent harm, then the company would and should allow what he called the “widest possible aperture” for freedom of expression on the internet.

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