Stuff has returned to social media platform Facebook, more than a year after pausing activity on the site for ethical reasons.

The news publisher reappeared on Facebook on August 18 after more than 14 months, in the wake of this week’s covid-19 outbreak.

The media group has had a fractious relationship with the social media giant in recent years.

The publisher stopped advertising on Facebook following the 2019 Christchurch terror attack, saying it didn't want to contribute to a platform profiting from hate speech and violence.

Stuff stopped making Facebook posts in June last year, a month after its management buyout led by chief executive officer (CEO) Sinead Boucher.

The news company described its boycott last year as an experiment, and part of an international protest against the US giant.

CEO Boucher has also criticised Facebook and other US tech giants over their approach to news. Boucher has called on the Government to impose an Australian-style news code to protect the news sector.

Stuff has more than 967,000 followers on the US social media platform. All its latest posts feature covid-19 related news stories and information.

The news group has also returned to the Facebook-owned Instagram in recent days. Stuff has 139,000 Instagram followers, and has posted two covid stories on the platform so far.

A spokeswoman said: “We are posting vital lockdown and covid-19 information and stories from our newsroom. We decided that given the seriousness of the current situation and the level of response required, it was important for us to ensure we made good, accurate information available as widely as possible. 

“This includes our anti-misinformation project The Whole Truth, as it is clear that false information and rumour about covid-19 and vaccines continues to be a real issue on platforms like Facebook.”

It is unclear whether the new posts mark a permanent return to Facebook. The company did not respond to a further question regarding its future relationship. 

The news group has made a concerted effort to combat conspiracy theories and misinformation since the pandemic. 

Last month, Stuff’s The Whole Truth project was awarded with more than $591,000 in funds in the first round of NZ on Air’s Public Interest Journalism Fund.