Facebook, YouTube, Twitter allow Louis Farrakhan to spread vaccine misinformation
March 8, 2021
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, has been broiled in many controversies over the years, often for his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Recently, he’s turned his attention to another thing he believes is evil: the coronavirus vaccine.
At a plenary session February 27, Farrakhan delivered a speech wherein he referred to the coronavirus vaccine as a “vial of death.” He slammed the vaccine’s speedy development, saying, “It is death itself, created by what you call ‘Warp Speed.’”
The speaker who opened the event, minister Ava Muhammad, had similarly harsh and unfounded claims about the vaccine, saying, “The overarching goal is to cull the population of our planet by 2-3 billion… Because white people see their numbers going down, and the numbers of indigenous people, black, red, and brown going up.”
Farrakhan holds a lot of sway in the black community. He has ties to many politicians and celebrities. Not only are his statements hateful and untrue, but they undermine faith in the coronavirus vaccine. Yet videos of Farrakhan’s speech remain up on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube without so much as a “this claim is disputed” flag attached to them.
According to Twitter’s COVID-19 policy, “You may not use Twitter’s services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 which may lead to harm.”
Last year, Twitter flagged many of President Donald Trump’s tweets, including one in which he claimed he was immune to coronavirus after having had the disease. From an objective standpoint, this claim does have some evidence to back it up. But Twitter still flagged the tweet as “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
There is no such flag on this tweet from The Nation of Islam’s Twitter account promoting Farrakhan’s coronavirus speech at the plenary session. Facebook and YouTube also still have video of the event on their respective platforms, neither of which has a “misleading information” label.
Why are Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube allowing the spread of dangerous coronavirus vaccine misinformation on their platforms?