Facebook’s Attempts to Stop Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories Have Failed Miserably

One thing that has ended up generating massive amounts of criticism for social media platforms in general has to do with the fact that many of these platforms have ended up becoming hubs for misinformation and the like. This has become even more apparent over the past year because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making people believe things about the coronavirus pandemic that just aren’t true in any way, shape or form.

Facebook has been trying quite hard to make it so that misinformation can be reduced on its platform, but its attempts have failed rather miserably especially over the course of the past two months. During these two months Facebook claimed that it would be engaging in a coordinated crackdown on misinformation of all sorts that would incorporate artificial intelligence as well as a number of human moderators. On paper this sounded like just the kind of solution Facebook ideally needed to be looking into, but much like most of the measures Facebook takes after criticism it ended up not really working all that well when implemented in the real world.

One way in which misinformation continues to be spread far and wide on Facebook involves the use of hashtags, and this is where Facebook has been lacking in its efficacy. A lot of the hashtags that are being blocked were not discovered by Facebook’s own investigative team but rather the social media platform was informed about them through third parties and the like. Many of these hashtags were associated with the now notorious QAnon movement which touts a conspiracy theory that major politicians from the Democratic Party along with other elites are involved in a child trafficking ring which is referred to as the Cabal.

The hashtag associated with this movement, #DarkToLight, has now been blocked but it had managed to be used about 30,000 times before action was taken. This is far too high a number and it indicates that Facebook just isn’t taking the job that it has been given as seriously as it should, and a lot more steps need to be taken before the social media platform can say that it has managed to put some effort into preventing misinformation from spreading as much it currently is which is causing so many problems in the world.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

H/T: Forbes.

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