Facebook 'bug' removed legitimate news articles as spam

The Facebook message informed users that their news posts violated the company's "community standards on spam" and were removed.

Updated: March 18, 2020 - 2:33pm

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A Facebook executive announced that the company has restored legitimate news articles that a "bug" in the system was marking as spam but some users are still experiencing problems.

Users had reported that many of the articles removed from pages were related to coronavirus. The Facebook message users received stated that the posts violated the company's "community standards on spam" and were removed.

"We're on this – this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce," Facebook's vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, tweeted on Tuesday. "We're in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back."

On Tuesday evening, Rosen wrote that the situation was resolved but users were still reporting similar issues.

"We’ve restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics - not just those related to COVID-19," he wrote on his Twitter account. "This was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too."

A Twitter user replied to his tweet and said he received "another notification" that he had posted spam on Facebook and that his previously removed posts had not been restored.

"Better double-check to make sure all of the posts were restored – none of mine have been yet," he wrote to Rosen.

"I had a post removed three minutes ago being marked as spam. What's the deal? When will this be truly resolved?" another user wrote.

Others tweeted at Facebook asking the social media behemoth when all posts will be officially restored.

"When are you going to restore the flagged and blocked posts that were taken down in error? I posted an obit about Lyle Waggoner and it was taken down as spam. How ridiculous. When are you going to fix this major issue?" a user wrote.