Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, amongst other social media outlets, are working to rid its platforms of a viral 26-minute coronavirus conspiracy video, which is spreading misleading and unproven claims about the pandemic.
The problematic “Plandemic Documentary” movie had been viewed and shared widely across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo. The clip contains allegations that the virus was man-made in order for pharmaceutical companies to make profits from vaccines. The video, which also claims to be part of a larger documentary to be released this summer, encourages people to go against much of the advice from medical experts. It even claims that wearing masks only makes people sicker while staying indoors can harm one’s immune system.
An individual claiming to be one of the filmmakers behind the conspiracy film posted a video to Facebook that received over 1.7 million views as of Thursday and has been shared more than 140,000 times. In his address, he encouraged viewers to download the video on the film’s website and share it to “all your favorite platforms,” according to the Daily Mail.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for Facebook said in a statement, “Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video.” However, on midafternoon, the video, along with similar ones were still viewable on Facebook.
A YouTube spokeswoman confirmed that they had removed the video for making claims about a COVID-19 cure, a claim that has not been backed by medical professionals.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization held a meeting with leaders from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms where they discussed what was being done to prevent the widespread misinformation about the coronavirus.
The spread of misinformation from conspiracy theorists has made the job of healthcare professionals even harder, as they are now faced with having to prove the severity of the virus to non-believers online.
Vimeo also released a statement regarding the misinformation, stating that it “stands firm in keeping [its] platform safe from content that spreads harmful and misleading health information.” The platform said that the video was removed for violating those policies. They also added that they would continuously be monitoring and removing similar videos.
Twitter has also taken steps to rid its site of the viral flick, blocking the hashtags” #PlagueofCorruption” and #PlandemicMovie” from trends and search.