Facebook has begun removing claims that the deadly wildfires in Oregon were started by various right-wing and right-wing groups, a spokesman for its social networking titan has said, after the rumours left officials inundated with questions.
Since early this week, state officials were trying to debunk misinformation about social media which has blamed both left-wing and right-wing classes for its fires that have killed at least six individuals in Oregon this week.
Facebook, which earlier was attaching warning labels to these posts, made a decision to proceed to the stricter strategy following “confirmation from law enforcement that these rumours are forcing local fire and police agencies to divert resources from fighting the fires and protecting the public,” the spokesman, Andy Stone, said in an announcement on Twitter.
Stone called the choice “consistent with (Facebook’s) past efforts to remove content that could lead to imminent harm given the possible risk to human life as the fires rage on.”
Flames have destroyed tens of thousands homes in days, making Oregon the latest epicentre in a bigger summer outbreak of flames sweeping the western United States.
One of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners, PolitiFact, wrote that dozens of articles blaming Antifa – a largely unstructured, far-left movement – for the wildfires were flagged by Facebook’s systems, which collectively the articles had been shared thousands of occasions.
The FBI on Friday said in a statement that after exploring several reports that extremists were responsible for placing wildfires in Oregon, it found them to be false.
Before this week, police in Medford, Oregon, debunked a false article employing the police department’s logo and title indicating that five members of these Proud Boys, a men-only, far-right group, was arrested for arson.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru. Editing by Leslie Adler.
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