Facebook Lifts Ban on Posts Claiming COVID-19 Originated in a Lab

"Facebook" (CC BY 2.0) by Stock Catalog

On Wednesday, Facebook announced an end to the ban on posts suggesting that Coronavirus originated in a lab. Facebook made this move amidst the rising demand for the Biden administration to investigate the pandemic’s origins. 

The announcement from the social media giant marks a reversal of their previous move in February to censor posts claiming that COVID-19 is man-made.

Facebook will no longer remove posts about COVID-19’s origin.

Last February, Facebook announced that they would censor posts which claim that the virus originated from a lab or is man-made. The previous announcement was made allegedly after discussions with top health organizations, allegedly including the World Health Organization. However, later on, WHO debunked Facebook’s claims.

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokesperson said that the social media giant would no longer remove posts that contain claims that the virus originated in a lab. This is in relation to the ongoing probe as to the origins of the coronavirus and consultation with health experts.

The spokesperson added that the Facebook team is continuously working with health experts to stay informed about the changing nature of the pandemic. Accordingly, the social media giant will remain updated on the new facts, policies, and trends that will emerge. 

Call for further investigation into the origin of COVID-19 intensified

After the report published by the Wall Street Journal, public appeals for further investigation as to the origin of the pandemic escalated. The report suggested that three researchers in the Wuhan lab exhibited severe enough symptoms that they were hospitalized. 

Furthermore, a fact sheet released by the State Department noted that the researchers showed symptoms that were consistent with COVID-19, as well as seasonal illness. 

Meanwhile, Biden stated that, shortly after becoming president, he directed his national security adviser to report the virus’s origins. This includes inquiry into the possibility that it originated in a lab. Accordingly, Biden also said he asked officials to show reports as to their findings within 90 days. 

The president also added that America would continue working with like-minded people all over the world. They plan to pressure China to engage in a transparent investigation and grant access to relevant data and evidence.

“210120-D-WD757-2225” (CC BY 2.0) by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Previously, the Trump administration launched an undisclosed investigation as to the origins of the COVID-19. However, the Biden administration allegedly stopped the efforts this spring due to the “quality” of the research.

In relation to this recent news, Facebook and other social media platforms suffered pressure from both political parties. The recent issue is related to the platform’s treatment of COVID-19 related content. 

Democrats are pressing social media platforms to stop the spread of misinformation. Meanwhile, Republicans are accusing big tech companies of censoring topics that are open debate. This includes discussions as to the lab leak theory.