Facebook bans 'black salve' user groups from the social media platform

Facebook has banned several groups that promote the use of a dangerous and illegitimate skin cancer treatment. 

BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday that Facebook has banned groups that discuss black salve, which contains bloodroot and zinc chloride and allegedly eats away at skin.

According to the news outlet, a small group of people claim that black salve can cure skin cancer, although doctors have said that this is not true and that black salve is dangerous. 

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It can reportedly wound or kill users if they use it instead of medical treatments. 

“We want everyone using Facebook to feel safe, that’s why we continually review Groups for Community Standards violations and take appropriate action against any Group found to be breaking our policies as soon as we become aware of it. The Groups have been removed for violating our policies on Violence and Criminal Behavior,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill in an email on Tuesday.

Two black salve groups containing 21,000 and 12,000 members respectively are reportedly among the banned groups.

BuzzFeed had reported in October that seven black salve groups were visible using Facebook’s group search. At the time, a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the groups did not violate its community guidelines.

 

The social media platform has been the subject of several controversies regarding the balance between free speech and minimizing harm.

Updated: 9:24 p.m.

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