A meme that mentioned the English band The Cure, and that was posted more than two months ago, was deleted by Facebook because the platform considered it dangerous and misinformative about COVID-19.
It is not known if it was an automated action by the Facebook algorithm, or if some human employee decided that a meme represented a great danger to society; the truth is that an image of the English band The Cure with text that said: “I’m not an expert on COVID-19, but this is The Cure” was removed from the platform, almost two months after it was originally shared.
Facebook user Sarah Rumpf was the one who disclosed the case. She shared the meme on March 24, a date when the coronavirus news was just beginning to spread in the United States.
Facebook sent Rumpf a notification saying that the post had been removed for violating the platform’s rules and that it can cause actual physical harm if someone took it seriously.
As with most cases where Facebook removes content for being offensive, Sarah was redirected to a page that indicated what criteria the platform considers to determine that something is misinformative or dangerous. However, Rumpf says that after having thoroughly reviewed the document, she does not consider that the meme that includes the popular 80’s band breaks any rules.
Additionally, Rumpf highlighted that the message she received from Facebook says that the platform supports free speech as long as it does not contain false data, or in this case, that it is backed by data from official entities. However, she does not see how a meme can fall into this category when it is obviously a sarcastic and humorous post.