Facebook, Twitter bar video of Brazilian president endorsing unproven antiviral drug

Tuesday - 31/03/2020 07:54
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a news conference on the coronavirus pandemic at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on March 20, 2020.Sergio Lima / AFP - Getty Images file
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a news conference on the coronavirus pandemic at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on March 20, 2020.Sergio Lima / AFP - Getty Images file
It is rare for tech companies to take down a post from a head of state, but the coronavirus pandemic has led tech companies to move aggressively to filter out unfounded medical advice.

Facebook and Twitter said Monday that they had ordered the removal of a video in which Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said falsely that a drug was working everywhere against the coronavirus.

It is rare for tech companies to take down a post from a head of state, but the coronavirus pandemic has led the companies to move aggressively to filter out unfounded medical advice, hoaxes and other false information that they say could risk public health.

"We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that violates our Community Standards, which do not allow misinformation that could lead to physical harm," Facebook said in a statement.

Facebook said it removed the video, while Twitter said it required Bolsonaro to remove the video himself to go on using Twitter.

The drug in question, chloroquine phosphate, can cause serious health consequences, including death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Saturday.

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