Facebook says it is investigating a claim it was being “misused” by a “troll factory” and has begun reviewing the social media platform’s news feeds to see if they have been “misrepresented”.
The social media giant said it is “actively investigating” the claim made in a Reddit thread.
The thread, which has since been deleted, said the content was “bias and propaganda”.
The post included an image of the hashtag #PizzaGate, a reference to an alleged conspiracy between two prominent internet personalities and pizza deliverymen.
It was also retweeted thousands of times and shared more than 500 times on Twitter.
The user behind the post, a “Pizzagate” fan named “Maddox”, told the Reddit thread that Facebook was using its news feeds as a “fake news factory”.
“I know I am being misrepresented by Facebook in this post.
I am trying to show my anger that the world does not know what we are really talking about,” Maddox wrote.
“I want to make clear that this is not fake news or propaganda.
We have been using the news feeds for a very long time to provide an unbiased view of the world.”
Maddox claimed the content had been “maliciously manipulated” by the pizzeria’s owner, “Mike Cernovich”.
Cernovitch has denied all allegations made in the post.
He said he did not intend to mislead anyone.
“The content I posted was in good faith, but I’m sure it was misused,” he told CNN.
The pizzeria has denied being part of a “botnet” that “lurks around” Reddit.
Facebook said it was investigating the claim.
The news feed on Facebook says the pizza chain “is an independent, family-run business” and that its business “is completely separate from any political campaign, party or corporation”.
Facebook has about 1.6 billion monthly users and has been criticised for failing to tackle the spread of fake news, as well as a lack of transparency in how its content is selected and analysed.