Facebook, YouTube and Twitter Grapple With Viral Pandemic Conspiracy Video

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The companies are struggling to stop the spread of a 26-minute video that includes coronavirus conspiracy theories.

Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks are struggling to remove a viral video that includes various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the challenges that come with moderating content online.

Facebook

Highlights:

  • The companies are struggling to stop the spread of a 26-minute video that includes coronavirus conspiracy theories.
  • Despite these efforts, Pandemic videos continue to pop up, including on Facebook.

The nearly 26-minute video is part of a series of clips being released ahead of a documentary called Pandemic that the filmmakers say “will expose the scientific and political elite who run the scam that is our global health system.” The video features Judy Mikovits, a controversial former medical researcher who repeats conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, including the idea wearing a mask could make you sick because it could expose you to your own “reactivated coronavirus expressions.” Mikovits’ comments conflict with advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says everyone should wear a face cover to protect others in case you’re infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Facebook Twitter And Youtube

Keeping the video off social media has proven to be a game of content moderation whack-a-mole for tech firms. Social networks have been trying to combat misinformation by directing users to more trustworthy sources including the CDC and the World Health Organization.

Twitter said the tweet didn’t violate its rules against harmful coronavirus misinformation but said the link to her video was marked as unsafe, limiting its spread. The company also marked a link to the documentary’s website as unsafe. Still, the Pandemic video could be found on Twitter late Thursday afternoon.

Facebook

Despite these efforts, Pandemic videos continue to pop up, including on Facebook. Some Facebook users were sharing the video in public groups, but linking to other sites that aren’t as well known as YouTube or to the documentary’s website.

Keeping the video off social media has proven to be a game of content moderation whack-a-mole for tech firms. Social networks have been trying to combat misinformation by directing users to more trustworthy sources including the CDC and the World Health Organization.