Facebook Suspends Venezuela President Maduro for 30 Days for Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation

Lead Photo: Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images
Read more

After the ongoing posting of COVID-19 misinformation, Facebook has suspended Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s page. As reported by Reuters, the company has also removed a video in which Maduro promoted Carvativir, a Venezuelan-made remedy he claims, without evidence, can cure the disease.

In the now-removed video, Maduro promotes the medication because it violates a policy against false claims “that something can guarantee prevention from getting COVID-19 or can guarantee recovery from COVID-19.”

There is currently no cure for COVID-19, despite the controversial president’s claims.

After the suspension was implemented, Maduro took to Twitter to promote plans to hold his daily Coronavirus briefing via his wife’s Facebook page instead.

Doctors in Venezuela have warned that Carvativir’s effect on coronavirus has not been established. The treatment is derived from thyme, an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine.

Facebook has ramped up their efforts to combat the spread of misinformation after being called out in December 2020 for spreading fallacies about the COVID-19 vaccine. Maduro isn’t the first world leader to be hit with a suspension. Former United States President Donald Trump was met with a similar suspension for an indefinite amount of time for spreading conspiracy theories and lies about the U.S. 2020 presidential election.

Venezuela’s information ministry has accused Facebook of “digital totalitarianism,” stating that “we are witnessing a digital totalitarianism exercised by supranational companies who want to impose their law on the countries of the world.”

Venezuela reports 155,663 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,555 deaths, as of today (March 29), however, political opposition says the true number of cases is likely far higher due to a lack of testing.