Facebook has frozen the page of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for violating the policy against spreading misinformation about COVID-19, promoting a tool that he claims can cure the disease without evidence, a company spokesman said on Saturday.
In January, Maduro described Carvativir, an oral solution derived from thyme, as a “miracle drug” that neutralizes the coronavirus without side effects.
Facebook has released a video in which Maduro promotes the drug because it violates the policy against false claims, “that something can guarantee the prevention of COVID-19 infection or can guarantee recovery from COVID-19.”
“We are following the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that there is currently no cure for the virus,” said a spokesman for Reuters. “Due to repeated violations of our policies, we also freeze the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only.”
In the video, Maduro says that Carvativir, which he calls the “miracle drops” of 19th-century Venezuelan doctor Jose Gregorio Hernandez, who was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church, can be used preventively and therapeutically against the coronavirus.
Page administrators have been notified of policy violations, a Facebook spokesman said.
Maduro’s Facebook account, which is owned by Facebook, will not be affected.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Information did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maduro often uses social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes broadcasts speeches via Facebook Live.
Venezuela’s official figures for Friday show 154,905 coronavirus cases and 1,543 deaths, although opposition critics say the actual figure is likely higher due to limited tests.