Facebook announced on Saturday, Sept. 12 that it would start its purging or removal of fake news related to the cause of the ongoing Oregon wildfire. Those posts or news articles referring to extremists groups like the controversial Antifa as the cause of the fire will all be removed from the platform to curb false claims. Here is why.
Facebook starts its purging again!
Starting Saturday, all fake posts and news articles referring to the Oregon wildfire cause will be removed from the platform for good.
The Verge reported Facebook's policy communications director Andy Stone posted via his Twitter account that these posts will no longer be allowed on social media.
This decision occured in order to follow with the protocol of Facebook into "removing content that could lead to imminent harm."
"We are removing false claims that the wildfires in Oregon were started by certain groups," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tweeted Saturday. "This is based on confirmation from law enforcement that these rumors are forcing local fire and police agencies to divert resources from fighting the fires and protecting the public."
As explained by Stone, local police authorities were being asked with rumors due to the spread of these fake news all over the Internet.
Antifa started the Oregon fire?
One thing that was common on these false claims is the suggestion that politically motivated arsonists such as the Antifa group were the ones behind the said incident.
Rumor even spread out that local police arrested six members from the left-wing group as suspects behind the fire. However, this was purely false, according to the police.
"Rumors spread just like wildfire, and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires," the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "THIS IS NOT TRUE! Unfortunately, people are spreading this rumor, and it is causing problems."
The Medford Police Department also flagged a specific post saying that they arrested five arsonists connected with the far-right Proud Boys.
The FBI's Portland division already released a statement saying that all the extremist groups mentioned were investigated but turned out to be all false. No members of any of these groups were arrested nor possible suspects on the said arson crime.
Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue. Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources. pic.twitter.com/ENc4c3kjep — FBI Portland (@FBIPortland) September 11, 2020
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Written by Jamie Pancho