Madonna's Instagram post blocked over false video

WASHINGTON • Superstar singer Madonna has been censored on Instagram for spreading false information about a supposed cure for Covid-19 after she shared clips from a video also re-tweeted by United States President Donald Trump.

In her post to 15.4 million followers, Madonna, 61, claimed that a proven vaccine had been available for months but it was being kept secret "to let the rich get richer and the poor and sick get sicker".

She attached a video of US physician Stella Immanuel who praised hydroxychloroquine as a miracle coronavirus cure. Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, has not been proved effective against Covid-19.

"We've removed this video for making false claims about cures and prevention methods for Covid-19," a company spokesman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.

Madonna's post was deleted, but screengrabs showed it had earlier been blurred by Instagram and tagged "False Information - reviewed by independent fact-checkers" with a link to a page debunking the video.

Mr Trump this week tweeted several clips of the video to his 84 million followers, before the tweets were removed. His son Donald Trump Jr was temporarily halted from tweeting on Tuesday after he also shared parts of the video.

Dr Immanuel also railed against face masks and lockdowns.

Madonna said in May she had recovered from the coronavirus which forced her to pull out of concerts in Paris earlier in the year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline 'Madonna's Instagram post blocked over false video'. Print Edition | Subscribe