Oversight Board Urges Meta to Review COVID-19 Misinformation Removal Policies
The Oversight Board has advised Meta to “reassess” its COVID-19 misinformation rules, according to a recent policy advisory opinion. The social network had asked the Board to evaluate its policies last summer, noting that the pandemic had “evolved” considerably since the rules were first implemented. While the Board recommended that Meta continue to remove false claims about the pandemic that are “likely to directly contribute to the risk of imminent and significant physical harm,” it suggested that the company reassess the specific claims that qualify for removal. Additionally, the Board recommended that Meta make it easier for external researchers to study misinformation and examine how its algorithms could contribute to the spread of harmful content. The Oversight Board emphasized that Meta should consult with public health officials and other experts to assess whether all the claims it removes continue to pose a serious threat. The company has 60 days to respond to the Board’s recommendations, but it is not obligated to change its policies.