YouTube said on Wednesday that it had removed videos spreading misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak from the channel of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, becoming the latest tech giant to withdraw its pandemic statement.

YouTube said in a press release that the decision was made “after careful scrutiny,” without considering Bolsonaro’s work or political ideology. The far-right former army captain oversaw the second deadliest outbreak in the world. He has been widely criticized for attacking blockades, touting unproven panacea, spreading vaccine suspicions and avoiding open covers.

“Our rules do not allow content to state that hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin are effective in treating or preventing COVID-19, that there is a cure for the disease, or that masks cannot prevent the spread of the virus,” it said in a statement.

The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, after Bolsonaro issued a statement that violated the recommendations of global public health experts, Twitter and Facebook both deleted Bolsonaro videos that violated its terms of use.

Bolsonaro’s YouTube channel hosts his weekly national speeches, which are folk music events, and he invites ministers to attend, answer audience questions and attack his enemies.

In chats on his Facebook page, he often explained his doubts about the severity of the virus, the stupidity of home measures, and the magic of unproven drugs (such as hydroxychloroquine).

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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