Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, and other social media platforms are currently dealing with hundreds of posts about ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug used on horses, as several anti-vaxxers claim that it is an effective cure for COVID-19.
The sales of ivermectin have increased in the past few days, alarming the Food and Drug Administration or FDA.
The agency issued a consumer update regarding the drug and was also posted on Facebook, Reddit, and other platforms. They explained why people should not take it to treat COVID-19.
As of Aug. 27, several calls to poison control centers have been made.
Facebook and Other Platforms Remove False COVID-19 Claims
According to Rolling Stone, several videos on TikTok promoted ivermectin as a way to treat the virus. The videos are under the #ivermectin4covid and #ivermectinworks, and they have millions of views.
TikTok has since removed the viral videos for violating the platform's community guidelines, and it blocked the hashtags, according to TikTok's spokesperson.
The platform will continue to remove any video connected to the hashtags. Although the #ivermectin tag can still be searched, a lot of the videos under it are healthcare professionals debunking the claims of anti-vaxxers.
Facebook groups have also been sharing misinformation about the virus and making sponsored posts that promote ivermectin for treating COVID-19. The action came after the drug was tested in the UK to treat the virus.
Facebook Being Criticized
Facebook has been criticized heavily since the start of the pandemic due to the amount of COVID-19 misinformation that circulates on the website.
According to Facebook's spokesperson, the platform removes content that attempts to buy, sell, donate or ask for the horse drug.
Facebook added that they would continue to enforce against any account or group that violates their COVID-19 and vaccine policies, including claims that the drug is a guaranteed cure for the virus.
The spokesperson added that they do not allow ads promoting ivermectin as a treatment for the virus. Still, several anti-vax groups on the platform tried to dodge the rules by using different terms for ivermectin, they use "moo juice" or "ivm."
Facebook, Reddit, TikTok, and other social media sites have struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
The social media platforms have updated their policies, and they added links to medical authorities like the CDC. They had removed millions of posts since 2020, according to Fox 8.
However, as the pandemic continues, the misinformation regarding the virus evolves.
Meanwhile, on Reddit, moderators of several subreddits had called on the platform to take action against misinformation regarding the virus, including banning the subreddits that spread false claims.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman disagreed with the requests for a total ban. He shared his response via the announcements on Reddit and said that a platform is a place for open discussion and debate.
Huffman's post goes on to say that the platform will take action when the users promote fraud or encourage harm, as well as limit the interactions on certain subreddits so that they do not appear in searches and they can't be accessed without logging in.
The moderators have criticized the post, saying that subreddits that promote the use of the horse drug encourage harm, which is why they should be banned.
According to a spokesperson for Reddit, they are reviewing all the communities on the website that are related to ivermectin.
The platform recently limited the interactions on the subreddit r/NoNewNormal, an anti-vax, and anti-mask subreddit.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster