Multiple Social Media platforms including Youtube, Vimeo and Facebook have recently come together in removing a viral 26-minute conspiracy video regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, a California based production company, Elevate, released a conspiracy theory video titled ‘Plandemic’ which is supposed to be an extremely long trailer for a larger documentary scheduled to release this summer. The film however, is so controversial that a number of websites have taken down the video. Before removing the video from these media networks, it had already surpassed a million views on Youtube and Facebook individually.
A darling of the anti-vaccination movement, Judy Mikovits, is also featured in the film giving an interview. Though Twitter did not take down a different video uploaded by Mikovits saying it does not violate their COVID-19 policy, the website has scrubbed off the hashtags #PlandemicMovie and #PlagueofCorruption from searches and trend sections.
Moreover, any Twitter user in the United States who searches for hashtags related to coronavirus will be diverted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since the upload last Thursday, the film has been accused of promoting misinformation and dangerously misguiding viewers. The video is said to make misleading claims that billionaires and people in power have aided the spread of the contagious disease and have selfish motives of increasing vaccination rates to kill masses.
Also, it condemns the use of masks claiming it makes one sicker and staying home is one way of weakening the immune system. A Facebook spokesperson said “Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video”
Vimeo has spoken about keeping its platform safe from “content that spreads harmful and misleading health information.” The video has been removed by their Trust & Safety team for “violating these very policies.”
Conspiracy theories are bound to arise in times of uncertainty and urgency. Another notorious conspiracy theorist, David Icke’s Facebook page along with his Youtube channel have been removed by the respective companies.
The influence that social media has on people inside their homes is undeniably massive and can cause serious damage to one’s life if not kept in check by the concerned authorities. All digital platforms are doing their best to provide their users with useful and correct information while maintaining strong content management.