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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pull down video on doctors shared by Trump allegedly making false claims on COVID-19

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pull down video on doctors shared by Trump allegedly making false claims on COVID-19

Leading social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have removed a controversial video featuring a group, America’s Frontline Doctors, in which claims termed as misleading were made about the global pandemic, COVID-19.

The video had however attracted several millions of views before it was eventually pulled down by the platforms.

The video was created by right-wing media outlet Breitbart, featuring a group of people dressed in white lab coats — under the guise of “America’s Frontline Doctors” — staging a press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

The group claimed that the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine was “a cure for Covid” and “you don’t need a mask” to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax,” one of the women in the video claims. “You don’t need masks, there is a cure”, they claimed, in direct contrast to advice from public health officials to prevent the spread of the virus.

A Facebook spokesperson qouted by CNBC, said: “We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for Covid-19.”

Ripples Nigeria reports that Facebook has been battling coronavirus misinformation on its platform since January, that seem not to stop several false claims going viral before they are eventually removed.

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US President, Donald Trump reportedly shared several versions of the video with his 84 million Twitter followers before they were taken down.

Also confirming the development, a Twitter spokesperson said tweets containing the video violate its Covid-19 misinformation policy and that it is taking action.

For YouTube, the video met the bar for removal because it claimed a guaranteed cure of Covid-19.

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had clear policies against Covid-19 misinformation and are committed to continue providing timely and helpful information at this critical time,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

The group at the centre of the wild claims, America’s Frontline Doctors, started a website on July 15. Its membership comprise of some doctors and some who are part of the anti-vaccination movement.

The group also confirmed the removal of the videos with a post on its Facebook page.

“Thank you for the outpouring of support.
“We realize we are up against censorship, and many videos have already been pulled from multiple media platforms.
“Our team is working to get the videos uploaded to our website as soon as possible.

‘We will not be silenced”, America’s Frontline Doctors said on Facebook.

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