|Posted by JJ The Psychotherapist on May 26, 2021 at 9:15 PM|
According to Politico, Facebook will no longer remove posts referencing the origin theory that COVID escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
This is a policy reversal from February, when Facebook announced it would root out "false and misleading health claims," including those implying that "COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured." During the pandemic, the technology company maintained a list of debunked assertions in consultation with global health advisers.
According to the spokesperson, Facebook will no longer consider online content about the lab-leak theory to be a qualifying false claim in light of recent debate over the virus's origins.
“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” the spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. “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.”
The decision by the tech giant comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that three scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in late 2019 with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.
Additionally, it follows President Joe Biden's announcement on Wednesday that he intends to direct intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts to determine the virus's root cause and deliver their findings within 90 days. While the Biden administration may "redouble" its efforts, as NR reported, "the Biden administration halted a Trump-era State Department investigation into the possibility that COVID-19 originated in a lab leak in Wuhan, China, over methodological concerns."
Biden stated Wednesday that the intelligence community is considering two conflicting theories about the origins of COVID and that the investigation should determine "whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident."
Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, has fielded numerous questions from reporters during press briefings about the World Health Organization's delay in conducting an investigation into the origins of COVID, prompting Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to demand an independent investigation free of international interference or collaboration.
Facebook is the first social media company to allow open discussion on its platform about the hypothesis that the disease was caused by a laboratory accident in Wuhan, recognizing the lack of scientific consensus regarding the origin of SARS-CoV-2.