Facebook groups promote ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19

Facebook became more aggressive to enforce its coronavirus disinformation policies over the past year. But the platform remains a popu...

Facebook became more aggressive to enforce its coronavirus disinformation policies over the past year. But the platform remains a popular destination for people discussing how to acquire and use ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasitic worms, although the Food and Drug Administration has warned people against taking it to treat Covid-19.

Facebook has removed a handful of groups dedicated to these discussions. But dozens more remain in place, according to recent research. In some of these groups, members discuss strategies for evading the rules of the social network.

Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, found 60 public and private Facebook groups dedicated to the discussion of ivermectin, with tens of thousands of members in total. After the organization reported the groups on Facebook, 25 of them closed. The remaining groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, numbered nearly 70,000 members. Data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Facebook, showed that groups generate thousands of interactions daily.

Facebook said it banned the sale of prescription products, including drugs and pharmaceuticals, on its platforms, including in advertisements. “We are removing content that attempts to buy, sell or donate for ivermectin,” Aaron Simpson, a Facebook spokesperson, said in an emailed statement. “We also enforce against any account or group that violates our Covid-19 and vaccine policies, including claims that ivermectin is a guaranteed cure or guaranteed prevention, and we do not allow ads promoting ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19. “

In some of the Ivermectin groups, administrators – the people responsible for moderating posts and determining settings like whether the group is private or public – have given instructions on how to escape Facebook’s automated content moderation. .

In a group called Healthcare Heroes for Personal Choice, an administrator asked people to remove or misspell buzzwords and avoid using syringe emoji.

An administrator added, referring to video services like YouTube and BitChute: “If you want to post a video of your boob or bit ch ut e or ru mble, hide it in the comments. ” Facebook rarely watch the comments section messages for disinformation.

Facebook said it examines the actions of the directors when determining if a group is breaking platform rules, he said, and if moderators are breaking the rules, it counts as strikes against the entire group.

Groups also channel members to alternative platforms where content moderation policies are more lax. In a Facebook group of over 5,000 members called Ivermectin vs. Covid, a member shared a link to join a channel on Telegram, a messaging service, for a more in-depth discussion of “the latest good news regarding this miraculous pill.”

“Ivermectin is clearly the answer to solving covid and the world is waking up to this truth,” the user posted.

After The Times contacted Facebook about the Ivermectin vs. Covid, the social network removed it from the platform.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Facebook groups promote ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19
Facebook groups promote ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19
Newsrust - US Top News
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