After making false statements about COVID-19, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had videos removed from his Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Bolsonaro’s latest offense with the social media giant was when he falsely linked coronavirus vaccine to AIDS in a livestream on Thursday. He attributed the claim to a U.K. Government report that was incorrect.
“I’m only going to report it, and I won’t comment. I’ve spoken about it before, I’ve been beaten quite a bit… Here we go: Official U.K. government reports indicate that fully vaccinated… Who are the fully-vaccinated? Right, second dose, 15 days later, 15 day after the first dose… fully vaccinated… They are developing Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome much faster than expected,” the far-right leader stated.
“So, read the article. I won’t be reading it here because of a problem with my stream (live).”
Both videos were taken from Instagram and Facebook on Sunday.
‘Our policies do not allow for claims that Covid-19 vaccines kill or can cause serious harm to people,’ a Facebook spokesperson told Brazilian outlet Folha de São Paulo.
According to the outlet, Carlos Lula, President of National Council of Health Secretaries condemned Bolsonaro’s misinformation claims on Monday.
“It imposes burdens on HIV-positive people. He said that this was another regrettable chapter in the series obtuse statements made by the president in the fight against the pandemic.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had videos pulled from Facebook and Instagram on Sunday where he falsely said the COVID-19 vaccine is linked to AIDS, basing his claims on a UK government report. The video was part a live stream that Bolsonaro did Thursday night. The video was still available on Bolsonaro’s YouTube channel as of Monday
Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked the effectiveness and efficiency of COVID-19, the measures put in place to stop the spread of virus. He even compared the viral bug to ‘a little influenza’
While none of his videos are no more on his Instagram or Facebook pagess, the one-hour and twelve-minute video was still available on his YouTube channel as at Monday morning. His Twitter account still contains a tweet inviting followers to view the COVD-19 misinformation video on YouTube.
Bolsonaro was a former coronavirus patient who compared it to “a little flu” before he contracted it in July 2020. He has also repeatedly attacked the measures taken to combat the spread. In July, he had at least 15 videos removed form his YouTube channel.
One video showed Eduardo Pazzuelo, former health minister, comparing COVID-19 with AIDS.
Bolsonaro also railed against the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine on October 10 when we said he was not permitted to watch a soccer match in person in São Paulo because all fans in attendance were required to be vaccinated. Bolsonaro then declared two days later he would never receive the vaccine.
Karen Santo, Porto Alegre councilwoman, said that his rhetoric was partly to blame for Wednesday’s clash between anti-vaxxers holding swastika signs and legislators with a COVID-19 vaccination passport mandate.
Rio de Paz NGO member puts white handkerchiefs on the table to honor Brazil’s more that 606,000 coronavirus victim.
Facebook’s decision to take down Bolsonaro’s misleading videos from its own network as well Instagram comes as reports revealed Monday that company employees had warned that as the social media behemoth raced to become a global service, it was failing to hone in on abusive content in countries where such speech was likely to cause the most harm.
Facebook failed to prevent its products from becoming channels for hate speech, inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation – some which has been blamed for inciting violence, according to information gathered from interviews with Five former employees and documents from the company were viewed by multiple media outlets including Reuters.
Facebook’s internal documents revealed that Facebook knew that it had not hired enough workers with the necessary language skills and knowledge of local events to identify objectionable posts by users in several developing countries.
The documents also revealed that Facebook’s artificial intelligence systems used to find such content often fail to meet the task. Additionally, the company has not made it easy to flag posts that are in violation of its rules for its global users.
Facebook announced Sunday that it had removed a video and Instagram from its network. Bolsonaro was reading a false report that claimed the UK government falsely claimed the COVID-19 vaccine was linked to AIDS.
These shortcomings, employees warned in documents, could limit the company’s ability to fulfill its promise of preventing hate speech and other rule-breaking posts anywhere from Afghanistan to Yemen.
These documents are part of a cache that Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen made to Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Frances Haugen was a former product manager at Facebook who left the company in May.
Mavis Jones, a Facebook spokesperson, stated in a statement that there are native speakers around the world who review content in more than 70 languages and experts in humanitarian issues and human rights. These teams are working to stop abuse of Facebook’s platform from places where there is a higher risk of conflict or violence.
Jones stated, “We know these are real challenges and we are proud to have done the work we have so far.”