Facebook freezes Venezuela president's page over Covid misinformation

WION Web Team
Caracas, Venezuela Published: Mar 27, 2021, 11:52 AM(IST)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Photograph:( Reuters )

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The social media giant has accused the Venezuelan president of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 by promoting a remedy he claims, without evidence, can cure the disease, a company spokesman said on Saturday.

Facebook has frozen Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's page for violating its policies. His account on photo-sharing social media platform Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will not be affected.

The social media giant has accused the Venezuelan president of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 by promoting a remedy he claims, without evidence, can cure the disease, a company spokesman said on Saturday.

Maduro in January described Carvativir, an oral solution derived from thyme, as a "miracle" medication that neutralises the coronavirus with no side effects, a claim doctors say is not backed by science.

Facebook has taken down a video in which Maduro promotes the medication because it violates a policy against false claims "that something can guarantee prevention from getting COVID-19 or can guarantee recovery from COVID-19."

"We follow guidance from the World Health Organisation that says there is currently no medication to cure the virus," the spokesman said. "Due to repeated violations of our rules, we are also freezing the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only."

Maduro in the video says Carvativir, which he calls "miracle drops" of 19th century Venezuelan doctor Jose Gregorio Hernandez who has been beatified by the Roman Catholic Church, can be used preventively and therapeutically against the coronavirus.

Maduro in February said Facebook "censored" videos in which he showed Carvativir. He has in the past said he and his allies have been treated unfairly by social media companies, including what he calls arbitrary suspension of accounts.

Venezuela has, so far, registered 154,905 cases of coronavirus and 1,543 deaths.

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