YouTube removed videos by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday of spreading misinformation about Covid-19, becoming the latest internet platform to act against a leader whose country has one of the highest death tolls in the world, but who has distributed vaccines and the use of masks and called the governors of Tirana to order the blockades.
YouTube, which played a key role in Mr. Bolsonaro’s rise to power, says it’s more widely viewed in Brazil that all but one television channel said in a statement that the president had violated enterprise policies regarding vaccine misinformation, including promoting unproven cures.
Our policies do not allow content that claims that hydroxychloroquine and / or Ivermectin are effective in treating or preventing Covid-19, claims that there is a guaranteed cure for Covid-19, and claims that the masks do not work to prevent the virus from spreading, YouTube said in a statement. This is in line with the guidelines of local and global health authorities and we update our policies when the guideline changes.
Like former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Bolsonaro has tried the tendency of social media platforms to allow big political figures to make claims that could cause other users to be censored.
Last year, Facebook removed the statements from Mr Bolsonaro after he promoted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus. Around the same time, Twitter deleted posts from the far-right president for postponing fake remedies and calling for an end to social distancing.
YouTube said it implements policies consistently across the platform, regardless of the person or political point of view.
The video sharing service has faced pressure throughout the pandemic to do more to limit the spread of Covid-related misinformation. In November, he released a one-week suspension of One America News Network, a right-wing news channel, after removing a video that he said violated his Covid disinformation policies.
Criticized at home and abroad for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil has suffered some of the worst effects of the pandemic. While more than 545,000 people have died from the disease, Mr. Bolsonaro has continued to downplay its importance, mocking people for wearing masks and stating that he had no plans to make a vaccine.
Mr Bolsonaro’s YouTube channel is a popular outlet for the president to share his views on the pandemic. In a weekly program in which the president receives questions from viewers, the president has broken down blocking orders and evaluated unproven cures.
As of Thursday, the channel had 3.44 million subscribers.
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