Facebook and Twitter have blocked a controversial video of a major world leader in an effort to halt the spread of misinformation pertaining to coronavirus. In the video, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro falsely claimed that chloroquine phosphate was proving effective at treating COVID-19 worldwide.

“We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that violates our Community Standards, which do not allow misinformation that could lead to physical harm,” a representative for Facebook explained.

Twitter, meanwhile, required Bolsonaro himself to remove the video in order to have continued access to the platform.

“Twitter recently announced the expansion of its rules to cover content that could be against public health information provided by official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19,” read a statement from Twitter.

Typically used to treat malaria in some patients, chloroquine phosphate has gained a significant amount of attention amidst the spread of coronavirus, as some patients have seen success using the drug as treatment. However, the drug has not yet been officially approved for use as a COVID-19 treatment and further research is still necessary.

Nevertheless, leaders like Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump have touted chloroquine as a cure for the virus, despite its potentially deadly side-effects. In Arizona, an elderly couple ingested the drug, in the form of aquarium cleaner, after hearing Trump speak about it. The husband later died and the wife was left in critical condition.

Recently, Twitter took similar action against Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, removing a tweet in which he quoted conservative pundit Charlie Kirk stating that chloroquine was “100% effective” for patients with the novel coronavirus.

The platform has also blocked potentially harmful or misleading tweets from the likes of actor Alyssa Milano, technology businessman John McAfee and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro shared videos showing him flouting his government's social distancing guidelines Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro shared videos showing him flouting his government's social distancing guidelines Photo: AFP / Sergio LIMA