Facebook, Instagram remove Bolsonaro video linking AIDS to Covid vaccines

facebook instagram aids vaccines
Jair Bolsonaro during the live broadcast removed for containing falsehoods. Photo: Facebook/Jair Messias Bolsonaro

Social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have both taken down a video published by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s official accounts, after the far-right leader spread false claims of links between Covid-19 vaccines and AIDS. The video in question was the latest of the president’s weekly social media live broadcasts, addressing his followers every Thursday evening to discuss government actions and the week’s top news stories.

Mr. Bolsonaro affirmed that “official reports from the British government” highlighted a trend of fully vaccinated individuals developing AIDS at a faster pace than expected. The UK government quickly confirmed that the reports in question are fabricated.

“Read the article,” the president said in the video, “I’m not going to read it here because my live broadcast will get into trouble.” The video in question is no longer available on Facebook or Instagram, and there is pressure on YouTube to follow suit and ban the footage.

In March, Facebook and Instagram took down another of the president’s official videos, saying it breached their terms of use. In the footage in question, Mr. Bolsonaro encouraged public gatherings during the height of the pandemic and spoke out against coronavirus restriction measures.