Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube scrub platforms of viral video
A video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus was removed by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after going viral online Monday.
The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured a group of people wearing white lab coats calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
President Trump shared multiple versions of the video with his 84 million Twitter followers Monday night despite the dubious claims running counter to his administration's own public health experts. Spokespersons for the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
During the press conference, a speaker who identifies herself as a doctor makes a number of dubious claims, including that "you don't need masks" to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are "fake science" sponsored by "fake pharma companies."
"This virus has a cure, it's called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax," the woman claims. "You don't need masks, there is a cure."
The claims run contrary to multiple studies on the anti-malarial drug and advice from public health officials to prevent spread of the virus.
A study found that neither hydroxychloroquine alone nor hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin appeared to affect the condition of patients at the 15-day mark. Additionally, unusual heart rhythms and elevated liver-enzyme levels were more frequent in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine alone or with azithromycin, according to the study.
The video quickly went viral on Facebook, becoming one of the top performing posts on the platform with more than 14 million views before it was taken down Monday night for promoting misinformation. It was shared nearly 600,000 times, according to Crowdtangle, a data-analytics firm owned by Facebook.
"We've removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN, adding that the platform is "showing messages in News Feed to people who have reacted to, commented on or shared harmful COVID-19-related misinformation that we have removed, connecting them to myths debunked by the WHO."
Twitter worked to scrub the video late Monday night after Trump shared versions of the video that amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
"We're taking action in line with our Covid misinfo policy," a Twitter spokesperson told CNN.
Twitter took action against the videos that Trump retweeted. By early Tuesday morning the videos were no longer able to be viewed on his account. Twitter also took action on a version of the video posted by Donald Trump Jr. and others shared by Breitbart News.
The video was also removed by YouTube, where it had been viewed more than 40,000 times. Users attempting to access the video late Monday were greeted with a message that said it had been removed for "violating YouTube's Community Guidelines."
A Breitbart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
According to the website for America's Frontline Doctors, the group is led by Dr. Simone Gold, a Los Angeles-based emergency medicine specialist who has previously been featured on Fox News for her views that stay-at-home orders are harmful. Gold told the Associated Press in May she wanted to speak out against stay-home orders because there was "no scientific basis that the average American should be concerned" about Covid-19.
America's Frontline Doctors could not be reached for comment late Monday.
As of Monday, the virus has caused nearly 150,000 US deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is on track to become a leading cause of death in the country.
Twitter temporarily restricts Donald Trump Jr.'s account after he posts video claiming masks are unnecessary
Twitter restricted Donald Trump Jr.'s ability to tweet after he posted a video featuring a doctor making false claims about coronavirus cures and stating that people "don't need masks" to prevent the virus from spreading, a Twitter spokesperson said Tuesday.
Some of the account's functionality, including the ability to tweet, will be limited for 12 hours, the spokesperson said. The video, which was published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News and went viral online on Monday, featured a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to coronavirus, including that masks are unnecessary.
Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and YouTube removed the video after it started to go viral.
President Donald Trump also retweeted multiple versions of the video on Twitter, but he did not upload a version of the video to the site. His son did, which is why Twitter only took action against Trump Jr.'s account, a company spokesperson said.
Trump Jr.'s spokesperson had tweeted earlier that Twitter had suspended the president son's account. Twitter said in a statement that the account had "not been permanently suspended."
Twitter has asked the President's son to delete the tweet with the video. The company has already removed it from public view.
Deutsche Bank launched an internal investigation into the longtime personal banker for President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a bank spokesman confirmed on Sunday.
Recent polling indicates that Donald Trump is losing the 2020 election. Even states like Texas are now in play. The president’s campaign is in need of a focused, effective message.
Amid all the noise of an election involving Donald Trump – all the inflammatory tweets and shadowy Facebook posts – one set of ads has somehow managed to break through.
The media will reportedly not be allowed to witness Donald trump’s formal renomination as the Republican party’s choice for president at its national convention later this month.