The ongoing battle between social-media companies and covid-19 misinformation pushers—including US president Donald Trump—stepped up again this week thanks to a new viral video. And it has exposed, once again, how difficult addressing conspiracy theories is for Facebook, Twitter, and others.
The latest video comes from a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, which is sponsored by the right-wing Tea Party Patriots. It features a professional-looking group of people in white lab coats advocating hydroxychloroquine, the malaria treatment previously pushed by the president. One doctor speaking at the press conference promoted the drug as a “cure” for the coronavirus, and said that people “don’t need” to wear masks. The FDA withdrew its emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine for treating covid-19 patients in June, after establishing that the drug was not effective and potentially dangerous.