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RussiaApril 11 2022, 12:15 pm

Facebook Fails to Label 80% Of Posts Promoting Bioweapons Conspiracy Theory, Study Finds

UK media has report­ed on a new study which found that Face­book failed to label 80% of arti­cles on its plat­form pro­mot­ing the fast-spread­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that the US is fund­ing the use of bioweapons in Ukraine. Accord­ing to a report by The Guardian:

March 31, 2022 As social media com­pa­nies promise to crack down on Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion about the war in Ukraine, stud­ies show they con­tin­ue to fall short, allow­ing dis­proven nar­ra­tives to reach mil­lions.  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.

Read the rest here.

The Guardian report notes that the bioweapons the­o­ry began to spread among fringe QAnon accounts in the ear­ly days of the con­flict, ulti­mate­ly mak­ing its way to larg­er plat­forms such as Fox News.

In mid-Feb­ru­ary, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report report­ed that Russ­ian media was claim­ing the Unit­ed States was devel­op­ing bio­log­i­cal weapons in a net­work of labs in Ukraine. These claims have been echoed by Chi­nese offi­cials and ampli­fied by QAnon con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists and con­ser­v­a­tive Amer­i­can polit­i­cal fig­ures, includ­ing Fox News host Tuck­er Carl­son and Don­ald Trump Jr. A recent report by the Dai­ly Beast high­lights how US con­ser­v­a­tive and con­spir­a­to­r­i­al influ­encers have con­tributed to this Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion campaign.

For more GIOR cov­er­age of Facebook’s efforts to counter dis­in­for­ma­tion and influ­ence oper­a­tions, go here.

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