Facebook axed South American pages and groups promoting bleach as a COVID-19 cure after an Insider investigation

Facebook axed South American pages and groups promoting bleach as a COVID-19 cure after an Insider investigation
Medicine containing chlorine dioxide is seen at the Farmacia Boliviana in Cochabamba, Bolivia, July 21, 2020.REUTERS/Danilo Balderrama
  • Facebook shut down a group hyping bleach as a COVID-19 cure in South America.
  • The action came after Insider flagged the groups promoting chlorine dioxide.
  • Public health bodies have warned repeatedly against taking the substance.

Facebook has removed pages and groups associated with a controversial group of medics promoting chlorine dioxide, a type of toxic bleach, as a COVID-19 treatment, following an Insider investigation.

Insider found that a large network of groups associated with Comusav (Coalición Mundial Salud y Vida) were promoting the bleach on the platform to tens of thousands of followers in countries including Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia.

The largest group was in Mexico with 45,000 members, Argentina's had more than 12,000 while others had smaller but still sizeable memberships often of several thousand members.

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Facebook said the group violated its policies against spreading medical misinformation.

Click here to read the full-length investigation.


A spokesperson for the site told Insider: "We have removed accounts, Pages, and Groups related to an organization called Comusav for violating our regulated goods and harmful misinformation policies. We have over 35,000 people dedicated to keep our community safe, a task particularly important during the COVID19 pandemic" a spokesperson told Insider.

The action came after Insider flagged the pages to Facebook as part of an investigation into the surge in popularity of chlorine dioxide in South America.

Advocates have managed to promote the subtance on social media despite warnings from public health bodies including the US Food and Drug Administration.

You can read the full investigation here.