Social media companies including YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook are removing a viral conspiracy theory video because of claims about the coronavirus the companies say are dangerous.
The roughly 26-minute video was presented as a "trailer" for the full-length movie "Plandemic." It features an interview with Judy Mikovits, whom the Washington Post describes as a well-known figure in the anti-vaccination movement.
The video claims that billionaires helped spread the coronavirus in order to further the spread of vaccines. It also criticizes Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, using footage of him speaking at the White House news briefings. The film also claims that wearing masks is harmful.
"Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we're removing the video," a Facebook spokesperson said. A Youtube spokesperson said the company removes "content that includes medically unsubstantiated diagnostic advice for COVID-19."
A spokesperson for Vimeo said it "stands firm in keeping our platform safe from content that spreads harmful and misleading health information. The video in question has been removed by our Trust & Safety team for violating these very policies."
Twitter said it had removed the hashtags #PlagueofCorruption and #PlandemicMovie from its searches and trends sections.
The video had 1.8 million views, 17,000 comments, and nearly 150,000 shares by the time it was removed from Facebook, according to Digital Trends.