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Brazil | YouTube suspends President Bolsonaro’s channel for a week

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(Brasilia) The YouTube video platform suspended Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for a week on Monday after removing a video in which he mentioned false information linking the coronavirus vaccine to AIDS.


“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policies on COVID-19 by claiming that vaccines do not reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases” , YouTube said in a statement sent to AFP.

This is the second time that the president has violated the platform’s “community standards”.

This time, he won’t be able to post any new videos or do live broadcasts for the next seven days, according to the platform’s rules.

The rest of his videos on the channel, where he has 3.5 million subscribers, are still available on YouTube.

Social networks Facebook and Instagram, which belong to the same group, deleted the video on Monday for the same reason.

In his weekly live video last Thursday, posted simultaneously across multiple platforms, Jair Bolsonaro mentioned a rumor that official UK government reports “suggest” that fully vaccinated people are developing the AIDS virus “much faster than expected.”

“I recommend you read the news. I will not read them here because I could have problems with my live, ”added the Head of State.

London denial

The information was denied by the British government to AFP’s fact-checking service.

The Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases for its part assured Saturday in a statement that “no relationship is known between any vaccine against COVID-19 and the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” (AIDS).

AFP asked President Bolsonaro’s press service for a reaction, but did not receive an immediate response. The far-right leader has not reacted to the blocking of his YouTube channel.

Facebook had already withdrawn in March a video in which Mr. Bolsonaro, criticizing preventive measures and anti-COVID-19 vaccines, encouraged crowds, at a time when some 2,500 people were dying every day from the coronavirus in Brazil.

YouTube sent a first alert in July, when it removed from its channel other videos containing false information about the pandemic, in which the effectiveness of the mask in preventing infections was questioned, and the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin encouraged, while these drugs have not been recognized as effective.

The president is often accused of spreading false news. In August, the Federal Supreme Court decided to investigate him for crimes of “slander” and “incitement to crime”, in particular because of his questioning of the electronic voting system in Brazil.

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