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Coronavirus

Facebook Will No Longer Remove COVID Derivation Claims

MENLO PARK, California — Facebook says it will no longer remove claims that Covid-19 is man-made or manufactured from its apps.

The change comes “in light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts,” Facebook says.

The company based in Menlo Park, California, has long battled a tide of coronavirus-related misinformation. It said in December it would remove vaccine-related misinformation.

“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, in a statement Wednesday.

Facebook doesn’t usually ban misinformation outright on its platform, instead adding fact-checks by outside parties, which includes The Associated Press, to debunked claims. The two exceptions have been around elections and COVID-19.

President Joe Biden recently ordered U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

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