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September 14, 2020, 05.08 PM

WASHINGTON, – Facebook has begun removing false claims that left-wing and right-wing groups were responsible for starting the deadly Oregon wildfires.

A spokesperson for Facebook shared the information on Saturday after state officials were bombarded with queries for information.

Since early this week, state officials have attempted to debunk misinformation spreading on social media that laid blame on both left-wing and right-wing groups for the Oregon wildfires.

Read also: Facebook to Ban Political Ads A Week Before November Election

The wildfires have claimed the lives of six people this week.

The Big Tech company, which earlier was attaching warning labels to such posts, decided to move to the stricter approach after "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", the spokesman, Andy Stone, said in a statement on Twitter.

Stone called the decision "consistent with (Facebook's) past efforts to remove content that could lead to imminent harm given the possible risk to human life as the fires rage on".

Flames have destroyed thousands of homes in days, making Oregon the latest epicenter in a larger summer outbreak of fires sweeping the western United States.

One of the Big Tech company's third-party fact-checking partners, PolitiFact, wrote on Thursday on its website that dozens of posts blaming Antifa — a largely unstructured, far-left movement — for the wildfires had been flagged by Facebook's systems, and that collectively the posts had been shared thousands of times.

Read also: Facebook Failed to Remove Militia Page Linked to Kenosha Unrest


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