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YouTube removes videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's channel for COVID-19 misinformation

Brazil's COVID crisis reaches "catastrophe"
Brazil's COVID crisis reaches "catastrophe" 02:47

YouTube on Wednesday removed a number of videos from the channel belonging to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus, the tech giant said in a statement.

"After a careful review, we removed videos from Jair Bolsonaro's channel for violating our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies," the company said. "Our policies don't allow content that claims hydroxychloroquine and/or Ivermectin are effective to treat or prevent COVID-19, claims that there is a guaranteed cure for COVID-19, and claims that masks don't work to prevent the spread of the virus. This is in line with the guidance of local and global health authorities, and we update our policies as guidance changes."

YouTube said that it applied its policies equally across its platform and had removed the videos without consideration of Bolsonaro's political ideology or job.

Bolsonaro's YouTube channel has over 3 million subscribers and he uses it to host a weekly program where he takes questions from viewers. He regularly speaks about his doubts about the severity of COVID-19, his belief in the effectiveness of unproven or disproven treatments, and his disdain for stay-at-home orders.

Brazil has had one of the world's largest and deadliest coronavirus outbreaks, and its far-right president has faced criticism for his handling of the crisis. In April, Brazil's congress launched an inquiry into his response to the pandemic.

Last year, both Facebook and Twitter removed posts by Bolsonaro where he criticized social distancing measures and promoted false remedies for COVID-19.

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