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Facebook Removes 2.5 Million Posts Selling Masks, Covid Kits

  • Company relying more on artificial intelligence to flag issues
  • About 1.7 billion fake accounts taken down in first quarter
Facebook App And Logo As Crisis Reignites Washington Scrutiny Of Social Networks

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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Facebook Inc. said it has removed 2.5 million posts since March 1 offering masks, sanitizers, cleaning wipes and Covid-19 test kits, in an attempt to prevent users from price-gouging or selling counterfeit and dangerous products.

To do it, the social media company relied on the same image-recognition technology it uses to remove sales of guns and drugs. Facebook has had to quickly train its artificial intelligence to handle an increase in coronavirus content that violates company policies, including hundreds of thousands of posts removed for displaying information that could lead to physical harm, like encouraging users to drink bleach as a cure.