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YouTube says video in which Bolsonaro says he got away with taking chloroquine did not meet criteria for removal

A week ago, the platform updated its usage policy to take down videos that recommend hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of Covid. Until this Friday (23), five were knocked down in the president’s channel, three of which were pointed to the platform by G1.

YouTube updated its usage policy on the 16th, saying it would shut down videos that recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19, as they have no proven effectiveness. Since then, 5 publications by President Jair Bolsonaro that contained the topic have been overturned.

All of them came from the lives he does on Thursdays.

Three of these videos taken from the air were pointed out by G1. A fourth example, however, did not meet the criteria for removal, according to the company, so it remains on the platform.

By the rules released on the 16th, YouTube would start to remove, even retroactively, videos that had:

content that recommends the use of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19;
content that recommends the use of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19;
claims that ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments against Covid-19;
allegations that there is a guaranteed prevention method against Covid-19;
claims that certain drugs or vaccines are a guaranteed cure for Covid-19
In this video that, according to the platform, did not meet the criteria for removal, Bolsonaro says:

“I don’t want to discuss chloroquine here. I took it and was safe, a lot of people took it and got away. And this is called early treatment or immediate treatment, or ‘off-label’ treatment, the doctor has the right to prescribe the drug well. that he thinks is best for the patient. ”
There is also a speech in which the president mentions ivermectin, another drug with no proven efficacy to combat Covid: “It is an example of Chapecó, the mayor there, João Rodrigues, there the doctors are free to prescribe what he thinks best. he thinks it will be chloroquine, it will be, ivermectin, it will be, whatever it is “.

The video, with almost half a million views, was posted a day before YouTube updated the policy. The lines have similarities to those that appeared in content that was dropped (see the end of the report).

YouTube says that early treatment topics or hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are not strictly violations, and that this depends on the context in which they are mentioned, as described in the platform’s Help Center.

And yet YouTube’s policies seek a balance between protecting users from harmful content and, at the same time, preserving freedom of expression.

And that, when there is no violation of YouTube’s usage policy, the final decision on the need to remove content rests with the Judiciary, according to what is established by the Marco Civil da Internet.

Account has not been suspended


With 5 videos taken down in a week, Bolsonaro’s channel remains on the air, which goes against YouTube policy. The company said the penalty was not applied due to the existence of a “grace period” for content creators to adapt when the policy is updated.

Under YouTube rules, the first time a channel violates the usage policies, the creator receives only an alert, “stating that he needs to know the rules better”. If you break the rules a second time, the first Warning (also called “strike”, in English) comes.

“If you receive three strikes in 90 days, your channel will be permanently removed from YouTube. Remember that each strike takes 90 days, from the date of issue, to expire,” says the platform.

However, the company informed G1 that, in the case of a violation involving a rule that has been recently updated, there is a “grace period” of 1 month from the implementation of the policy.
This means that videos posted before the change or up to a month after the update are removed, but do not generate a warning (“strike”) as a penalty. Thus, the 5 violations did not result in the suspension of Bolsonaro’s channel.

After this “grace period”, creators who post new videos in disagreement with the guideline will receive sanctions and, therefore, should double their attention, completes YouTube.

Information about the existence of this “shortage” was published last Thursday, on the company’s blog, in Portuguese only.

What does Bolsonaro say in the lives?


In the 5 videos taken down since Monday, Bolsonaro cites drugs as being recommended for the treatment or prevention of Covid – although this has not been proven. The videos follow on the air on the president’s Facebook.

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