The social media giant on Tuesday asked its independent Oversight Board for an opinion on whether its tougher pandemic policies are still warranted, citing higher vaccination rates around the world as well as the company’s own efforts to promote authoritative information about Covid-19.
One alternative to removing false claims, the company suggested, may be to label or suppress them in users’ feeds — either by having Meta police the claims directly or by outsourcing that work to its third-party fact-checkers, whose reports can prompt Meta’s algorithms to reduce the visibility of claims rated as fake.
Clegg featured Meta’s original decision to begin removing those claims as an unprecedented step brought on by the global health emergency.
“The change meant that, for the first time, the policy would provide for removal of entire categories of false claims on a worldwide scale,” he wrote.
But now, as Meta considers ratcheting the policy downward, false claims could be given more breathing room on the company’s services.
Clegg described the company’s thinking, and its request for an Oversight Board opinion, as an effort to resolve “inherent tensions between free expression and safety.”