Facebook failed to label 80% of articles on its platform promoting a fast-spreading conspiracy theory that the US is funding the use of bioweapons in Ukraine, according to a study released Friday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
The nonprofit disinformation research group studied a sample of posts from between 24 February and 14 March sharing external articles containing baseless claims about bioweapons.
It found Facebook in 80% of cases failed to label posts as either “missing context”, containing “partly false information” or “false information” outright.
“But we found that in the vast majority of cases, conspiracy theories are given a free pass.”.
The bioweapons theory began to spread in the early days of the war on Ukraine, among fringe QAnon accounts, ultimately making its way to larger platforms such as Fox News.
CCDH has called on Meta to more thoroughly enforce its “false information” and “partly false information” labels and expand the use of its existing “missing context” label.
Previous studies published by CCDH found Facebook struggled to enforce its own rules surrounding the labeling of state-sponsored news sources. »