Reputable sites swept up in FB’s latest coronavirus-minded spam cleanse [Updated]


Photoshopped image of a housekeeper with a Facebook logo for a face.

As of press time, there is a chance that if you share this very news article on Facebook, its headline will trigger an eventual takedown with a “spam” tag and no further explanation.

On Tuesday, social media users began sharing scattered reports with a confusing issue in common: links from reputable news outlets they’d shared—either publicly or in private, friends-only groups—were marked as violations of “community guidelines” and automatically taken down, and many—but not all—had “coronavirus” mentioned in either the headline or in the article’s body. Other hot topics in the automatic-takedown spree include recent Democratic Party primaries in the United States… and the recent YouTube viral sensation of penguins running free in a Chicago aquarium.

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