In the News: Coronavirus Dominates Social Media as Facebook Bug Blocks News Articles and YouTube Relies More on Technology as Employees Stay Home

Mar 2020

The coronavirus is affecting businesses all over the country, and users are turning to social media for correct information and support. This is why we need these social media platforms to work properly now more than ever. Both Facebook and YouTube are working on improving their platforms during this crisis.


Facebook Encounters Glitch and Scrutinizes Content 

Facebook is always an important source for getting news and current information. As the coronavirus began to unfold in America, more posts were hitting news feeds. This caused a glitch on Facebook’s AI screening systems.  The bug was said to be widespread and was blocking news that did not correlate to the coronavirus misinformation enforcement Facebook put into place. 


Facebook’s machine learning systems filter out content that violates the platform’s policies. 


Facebook announced on its blog that it would take the following steps:


  1. Making sure everyone has accurate information
  2. Stopping misinformation and harmful content
  3. Supporting global health experts and relief efforts
  4. Supporting local governments, communities, and businesses 


A late add on Thursday, Facebook announced that in addition to masks, the platform would also ban ads and commerce listings for hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes, and COVID-19 testing kits. 


YouTube Relies More on Technology

In order to promote the safety of its employees, YouTube has reduced the number of people that come into the office. Because of this decision, the company is more heavily relying on the use of technology and automated systems to remove content without human review. 


This could pose challenges for users and creators that may see increased video removals, including some videos that may not violate policies. Although you can still appeal the decision, there will be delayed action due to the lack of employees working during this time.


YouTube has more than 1.9 billion logged-in monthly users.

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