Facebook will no longer stop the spread of a theory that COVID-19 was manufactured

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook won’t remove claims that COVID-19 was man-made anymore, according to a report from Politico that cites a Facebook spokesperson. The company altered its policy because of a renewed focus on the origins of the virus, including an order from President Joe Biden to his intelligence agencies to investigate the so-called lab-leak hypothesis.

Facebook’s policy change was made “in consultation with public health experts,” that spokesperson told Politico. The social network’s policy mandates that false claims and conspiracy theories about the virus be removed.

Misinformation has often circulated on Facebook, including during the Ebola crisis in 2014. The company is under...

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