Facebook freezes Venezuela leaders’ page over Covid misinformation

File photo fo Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaking during a pro-government rally at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 25, 2016. — Reuters pic
File photo fo Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaking during a pro-government rally at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 25, 2016. — Reuters pic

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CARACAS, March 27 — Facebook said today that it was “freezing” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s page for a month after repeated violations of the platform’s rules against Covid-19 misinformation.

“Due to repeated violations of our rules, we are also freezing the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said it had removed a video from Maduro’s page “for violating our policies against misinformation about Covid-19 that is likely to put people at risk for harm.”  

Maduro had touted what he said was a “miracle” cure for Covid-19, and he had previously promoted other unproven remedies.

But as the Facebook statement said, citing guidance from the World Health Organization, “there is currently no medication to cure the virus.”

Venezuela began vaccinating health workers in February.

Venezuela has registered nearly 155,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid tracker. 

Opposition spokesmen in Venezuela say the true totals are probably far higher.

Authorities have become concerned recently about a rise in infections and the appearance of the highly contagious Brazilian strain of the virus. — AFP

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