On Saturday, a series of fake spam reports resulted in content from popular South African news publisher Independent Online (IOL) being flagged. This blocked all the stories from the publisher on the social media channel but Facebook has now restored the publisher’s page.
Although the social media giant hasn’t stated what led to fake spam reports on such a massive scale, IOL has issued an apology for the ‘inconvenience caused’ due to this bug.
Following the block on Saturday, all articles shared by IOL and other pages of Independent Media on Facebook were marked as spam and removed.
“We still do not have an answer from Facebook as to what caused our posts to be reported as spam but we are in continued engagement with them to identify the cause of the problem,” IOL stated.
Users were unable to post an IOL article onto the social media platform and were notified that the news article was spam. This caused the IOL followers who shared the articles to also receive the spam notifications.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and urge readers to inform us should they still receive spam alerts after sharing content,” the company added.
While the two-billion strong social media network is ramping up its efforts to crack down on fake news on the platform as well as fight extremist and terrorist related content, such bugs aren’t welcome as they might just hamper the image of brands — IOL in this case — facing the issue.
Moving towards its goal of getting rid of fake or misleading news from its platform, Facebook has not only implemented some practices in collaboration with other tech industry leaders but is also trying to better inform people on their own platform.
Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out Related Articles which they started testing out earlier this year in April. These additional articles show up below the article that the user engages with, providing them with related information surrounding that topic.