Social Media Giants Remove Video of Doctors Making False Coronavirus Claims

Social Media Giants Remove Video of Doctors Making False Coronavirus Claims

A video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus was removed by several social media outlets Tuesday.

According to CNN, the video was removed by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but not before it was viewed millions of times. The video, published by the far right Breitbart News, featured a group of people dressed in lab coats, calling themselves “America’s frontline doctors” standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the video, the doctors made a series of unsubstantiated claims related to the coronavirus, including that “you don’t need masks” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine being ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are “fake science” sponsored by “fake pharma companies.”

“This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax,” a woman claims. “You don’t need masks, there is a cure.”

The advice runs counter to multiple studies on the anti-malarial drug and the advice of numerous medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A study determined neither hydroxychloroquine alone nor hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin changed the condition of coronavirus patients after 15 days. The study did find that in coronavirus patients, the drugs did lead to unusual heart rhythms and elevated liver-enzyme levels.

The video quickly went viral on Facebook with with more than 14 million views and 600,000 shares before it was shut down, according to Crowdtangle.

“We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNN, adding that the platform is “showing messages in News Feed to people who have reacted to, commented on or shared harmful COVID-19-related misinformation that we have removed, connecting them to myths debunked by the WHO.”

Twitter began to remove the video late Monday night after President Trump shared versions of the video that amassed hundreds of thousands of views. Twitter also took action on a version of the video posted by Donald Trump Jr. and others shared by Breitbart News.

“We’re taking action in line with our Covid misinformation policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNN
The video was also removed on Youtube where it was viewed about 40,000 times.