Not Just Trump: Facebook Is Censoring Another Head of State

Published March 29th, 2021 - 07:50 GMT
Nicolas Maduro
In January 2021, former US President Donald Trump was banned from all social media platforms. (Shutterstock: Harold Escalona / Edited by Al Bawaba)

Almost three months after Facebook and other social media platforms came under fire for censoring content posted by former US President Donald Trump, the biggest online platform has reportedly blocked the official page of Venezuela's president Nicolás Maduro, over "misinformation."

The Facebook post which has reportedly caused the platform to block Maduro's page for a month contained an alleged "cure" for the novel coronavirus, one that the Venezuelan president believes is true.

In their response, Venezuelan's officials have attacked Facebook's policy, calling it an example of "digital totalitarianism."

For months now, Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms have been exerting extra efforts to limit COVID-19 related content that is not authorized by the World Health Organization or other official medical global institutions, which has been regarded as an attempt to fight "fake news" meant to stop misleading medical advice, many of which could lead to life losses.

In April 2020, more than 700 Iranians were reportedly dead after they ingested toxic methanol in an attempt to fight COVID-19 which was spreading quickly in the country at that time. During the same month, Donald Trump had suggested injecting patients with bleach in an effort to tackle the pandemic which had just broken out in the world.

However, social media platforms have been quite hesitant to block official accounts of heads of states for very long, which changed earlier this year, following the insurrection of the US Capitol on the 6th of January 2021. Since then, all of Trump's online accounts have been frozen.

Twitter administrators had released a statement saying that Trump's account has been permanently banned off the website, for they believed that the then US president had incited hundreds of his supporters to storm the Congress headquarters during the voting session on the win of his successor Joe Biden.

So far, Venezuela has reported a total of 157k confirmed COVID19 cases, including 1,565 deaths. The country that is still suffering from tight US sanctions targeting its oil industry has been facing difficulty purchasing vaccines to end the viral outbreak, which has recently inspired president Maduro to propose paying for the vaccines with oil.

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