Instagram flagged Madonna’s account and then removed a post that promoted unproven coronavirus conspiracy theories and a fake cure.
The post, which was shared Tuesday, appeared blurred with a warning over the video: “False Information.” Instagram removed it by Wednesday morning.
“We’ve removed this video for making false claims about cures and prevention methods for COVID-19,” said Raki Wane, Instagram’s policy communications manager. “People who reacted to, commented on, or shared this video, will see messages directing them to authoritative information about the virus.”
Before the post was taken down, text atop the video read: “Reviewed by independent fact-checkers.” When users clicked the button “See Why,” they were shown a list of falsehoods in Madonna’s post.
Instagram started working with third-party fact-checkers and flagging content for inaccuracies late last year, as part of the Facebook-owned social app’s commitment, as Instagram says, to “reducing the spread of false information.”
The now-deleted video and caption that Madonna posted echoed misinformation in a clip that was taken down from Twitter after President Donald Trump shared it. On Madonna’s post, fact-checkers noted that there is not yet a cure for COVID-19 and that hydroxychloroquine is not a cure.
Madonna has made previous controversial claims about the novel coronavirus being “the great equalizer” and said she tested positive for antibodies and is going to go for a long drive to “breathe in the COVID-19 air.”
According to Instagram, posts that are flagged for being false are made more difficult to find “by filtering it from Explore and Hashtags, and reducing its visibility in Feed and Stories.” But Instagram is going a step further with the coronavirus conspiracy video and removing all instances of it from their platform, says Wane.