Facebook to remove false claims on Oregon wildfires

NEW YORK: Facebook today (Sunday) has assured that it will remove false claims from its platform that the wildfires in Oregon were deliberately started by certain groups.

 “The decision is consistent with Facebook’s efforts to remove content that could lead to imminent harm,” Policy communications director Andy Stone said on Twitter.

Andy Stones further said that the platform was taking the action following confirmation from law enforcement that the rumors were forcing local fire and police agencies to divert resources from fighting the fires and protecting the public. However, he did not indicate how many posts or accounts would be affected.

The FBI’s Portland division tweeted Friday that reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue and urged people only to share information from trusted.

“Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away from local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control,” FBI special agent in charge Loren Cannon said in a statement.

Officials in Oregon said that they have been inundated with calls about the false online rumors that members of the loosely organized left-wing protest group Antifa had been arrested for starting the fires, a rumor which was promoted on social media by followers of the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory.

“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 in Douglas County,” according to a Facebook post from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

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