Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, had his Facebook page temporarily frozen for violating the tech giant’s policies against spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Reuters reports.
Back in January, Maduro publicly advocated that Carvativir — a traditional remedy derived from thyme — was a “miracle” treatment that cured coronavirus. But without scientific evidence to support it, the claim was never approved by doctors.
Maduro also took to Facebook to post a video promoting the medication. In the video, he refers to Carvativir as “miracle drops” which can be used to both cure coronavirus and prevent a person from contracting it. Given that the video spreads false claims, Facebook removed it from Maduro’s page.
But the social media company didn’t stop there. A spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that, “due to repeated violations of our rules, we are also freezing the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only.”
Additionally, the social media company made it clear that Carvativir is not a cure or preventative for coronavirus. “We follow guidance from the WHO (World Health Organization) that says there is currently no medication to cure the virus,” the spokesperson told Reuters.
Maduro isn’t the first politician to promote a “cure” for COVID-19 on Facebook. Former President Donald Trump also used the platform to falsely claim that REGN-COV2, the antibody cocktail given to him in the hospital after contracting COVID, was what he called a cure.
But regardless of whether you’re a political figure or just a regular person posting on Facebook, the same rules apply. As stated under its Community Standards, Facebook says it will “remove misinformation when public health authorities conclude that the information is false and likely to contribute to imminent violence or physical harm.