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Facebook Reverses Decision to Ban Trump-Backed HCQ as COVID Therapy

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Facebook’s Oversight Board reversed the social media platform’s decision to remove a post promoting the Trump-boosted referencing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to COVID-19.

“In October 2020, a user posted a video and accompanying text in French in a public Facebook group related to COVID-19,” the board summarized on its website.

“The post alleged a scandal at the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament (the French agency responsible for regulating health products), which refused to authorize hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin for use against COVID-19, but authorized and promoted remdesivir. The user criticized the lack of a health strategy in France and stated that “[Didier] Raoult’s cure” is being used elsewhere to save lives. The user’s post also questioned what society had to lose by allowing doctors to prescribe in an emergency a “harmless drug” when the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear,” the overwhelmingly left-wing board added.

The group makes a distinction that while the post pushed back against the French government’s COVID-10 approach, it did not explicitly urge other to take Hydroxychloroquine.

“The combination of medicines that the post claims constitute a cure are not available without a prescription in France and the content does not encourage people to buy or take drugs without a prescription. Considering these and other contextual factors, the Board noted that Facebook had not demonstrated the post would rise to the level of imminent harm, as required by its own rule in the Community Standards.”

The board also questioned why Facebook “failed to demonstrate why it did not choose a less intrusive option than removing the” post promoting the Trump-favored treatment.


Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is the Lead Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and co-host of The National Pulse podcast.

Raheem Kassam

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