© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration photo
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s government accused on Sunday Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 of “digital totalitarianism” after freezing President Nicolas Maduro’s site for 30 days for violating guidelines against spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
Facebook told Reuters this weekend that it also recorded a video Maduro promoting carvativir, a Venezuela-made drug that it claims can cure the disease without evidence. Facebook followed instructions from the World Health Organization (WHO) that there are currently no drugs that can cure the virus.
In a statement on Sunday, the Venezuelan Ministry of Information said Facebook was tracking “pandemic control content” and described carvativir as a “national production and engineering” retroviral.
“We are experiencing a digital totalitarianism that is being exercised by supranational corporations who want to impose their law on the countries of the world,” said the ministry.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Venezuelan doctors have warned that the effect of carvativir on the coronavirus has not been proven. The treatment is derived from thyme, an herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Maduro, who has witnessed an economic collapse since taking office in 2013 and is referred to as a dictator by Washington and many other Western nations, said in a tweet on Sunday that he had his daily coronavirus briefing on his wife’s first lady’s Facebook account going to send Cilia Flores.
The South American country has reported 155,663 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,555 deaths. These numbers are below the level of many regional counterparts, but the political opposition says the actual number of cases is likely far higher due to a lack of testing. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)
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