Every Thursday, Jair Bolsonaro speaks to Brazilians, live on Facebook. About Brazil, his work and the Covid-19. Its program, without contradictory, is then available for rebroadcasting on the platform. But this week, impossible to find his last speech. She is also no longer on Instagram.
And for good reason, Facebook, which also owns Instagram, withdrew the last direct from the Brazilian president, because he was peddling false information. Jair Bolsonaro referred to an article according to which official reports from the British government show that people who have received the two doses of the anti-Covid vaccine could “develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)”.
“I recommend that you read this article. I’m not going to read it here because I might have problems with my live, ”Bolsonaro said. He seemed to anticipate the possible removal of this content. The sentence fell: “Our policy does not allow the publication of claims that anti-Covid vaccines cause death or serious health problems,” said a spokesperson for Facebook.
Denial on all sides
Facebook is acting because the article relayed by Bolsonaro has been verified and considered false by many authorities, despite what the Brazilian president suggests. The information in the article in question on vaccines and AIDS was notably denied by the British government. And the Brazilian Society of Infectious Disease issued a statement on Saturday in which it assured that there was “no known link between anti-Covid vaccines and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”.
Vaccines are monitored all over the world, through numerous institutions and independent research centers, all of which consider the molecules injected to be safe. Some side effects may appear in rare cases, but the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the harm they can potentially cause. The Brazilian presidency did not respond to AFP’s requests on this subject.
This is not the first time that the far-right president has been sanctioned by Facebook. In March, the Californian giant had already withdrawn a video in which we could see Jair Bolsonaro provoking a rally in the middle of the second wave of contaminations in Brazil, with more than 2,500 deaths on average per day.
Since December 2020, Facebook has pledged to remove “false claims denied by public health experts”. The company is also in contact with information verification media to assist it in its efforts.
Bolsonaro, chronic disinformer
Since the start of the health crisis, the far-right president has made many controversial statements about vaccines, going so far as to say last year that Pfizer’s could “turn (people) into crocodiles”. The head of state has long said that he would be “the last Brazilian” to be immunized, before recently announcing that he had completely given up on being vaccinated.
A Senate parliamentary commission of inquiry last week asked for his indictment for his policy deemed “irresponsible” during the health crisis, incriminating him in particular for delays in the acquisition of vaccines and the dissemination of false information on the pandemic .