Top social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are struggling to prevent the spread of a viral conspiracy video that contains misleading and unproven claims on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The approximately 26-minute video, dubbed “Plandemic”, which first appeared early this week, has been viewed millions of times across social media platforms.
It comes as a trailer to an upcoming documentary featuring Judy Mikovits, a prominent figure in the anti-vaccine crusade – one of those who have constantly spoken on the danger of common vaccines.
In the video, which is inundated with scientific misinformation on where the COVID-19 was created and mode of transmission, Mikovits argued that the pandemic was developed by scientists to make profits off vaccines.
One of her claims in the video is that putting on face masks can trigger the the killer virus within people. She also alleged that anyone who has ever received a flu vaccine had been injected with the novel coronavirus.
Mikovits, however, failed to back these claims with reliable medical and scientific evidence.
The anti-vaccination activist, conspiracy theorist and discredited ex-medical researcher, according to Wikipedia, also criticised directives to stay away from beaches.
On Thursday, Facebook told reporters that the documentary violated its policies since it promoted the potentially harmful claim that wearing a mask can make you sick.
“Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video,” Reuters quoted Facebook to have said.
On its part, YouTube said the viral video was “removed for making claims about a cure for Covid-19 which has not been backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO)”.
Twitter, on the other hand, said Mikovits’ documentary doesn’t violate its rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The microblogging platform, however, vowed to mark the video’s URL as “unsafe”, adding that related hashtags like “#PlagueOfCorruption and #Plandemicmovie” will also be blocked.
It is understood that despite efforts from the top social networks to remove copies of the video from their platforms, users are still re-uploading it.
The WHO and other global health agencies had earlier urged social media platforms to monitor and take down harmful content and misinformation on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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