Instagram zaps Madonna put up for COVID-19 conspiracy theories

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Instagram has removed a video from Madonna’s feed after flagging the post for spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

According to screenshots shared Tuesday on Twitter, the pop singer’s caption claimed a vaccine for the virus “has been available for months” while “the rich get richer and the poor and sick get sicker.”

About Instagram
Instagram (commonly abbreviated to IG or Insta) is an American photo and video sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and originally launched on iOS in October 2010. The Android version was released in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited desktop interface in November 2012, a Fire OS app in June 2014, and an app for Windows 10 in October 2016. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users’ content by tags and locations and view trending content. Users can like photos and follow other users to add their content to a feed.
Instagram was originally distinguished by only allowing content to be framed in a square (1:1) aspect ratio with 640 pixels to match the display width of the iPhone at the time. In 2015, these restrictions were eased with an increase to 1080 pixels. The service also added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, and a Stories feature—similar to its main opposition Snapchat—which allows users to post photos and videos to a sequential feed, with each post accessible by others for 24 hours each. As of January 2019, the Stories feature is used by 500 million users daily.After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion as of May 2019. In April 2012, Facebook acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. As of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded. Although praised for its influence, Instagram has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, and illegal or improper content uploaded by users.
As of May 2020, the most followed person is footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with over 231 million followers. As of January 14, 2019, the most-liked photo on Instagram is a picture of an egg, posted by the account @world_record_egg, created with the sole purpose of surpassing the previous record of 18 million likes on a Kylie Jenner post. The picture currently has over 54 million likes. Instagram became the 4th most downloaded mobile app of the 2010s.

Instagram zaps Madonna post for COVID-19 conspiracy theories

About Madonna
Madonna (from medieval Italian ma donna, meaning “my lady”) most commonly refers to:

Mary, mother of Jesus, a religious figure in Christianity and Islam
Madonna (entertainer) (born 1958), American singer Madonna CicconeMadonna may also refer to:

The video featured Stella Immanuel, a Houston pediatrician widely discredited for promoting conspiracy theories about the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and “sex demons,” as well as anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, according to the Independent. Instagram blurred the clip and labeled it “false information.”

To be clear: There is currently no vaccine or cure for COVID-19.

Instagram zaps Madonna post for COVID-19 conspiracy theories

“The Truth will set us all Free!” Madonna wrote, hailing Immanuel as “my hero.” “But some people don’t want to hear the truth. Especially the people in power who stand to make money from this long drawn out search for a vaccine.”

Representatives for Madonna did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Wednesday.

According to the Guardian, fellow pop musician Annie Lennox was among those who condemned Madonna’s post, dismissing it as “utter madness.”

“I can’t believe that you are endorsing this dangerous quackery,” Lennox wrote. “Hopefully your site has been hacked and you’re just about to explain it.”

The video in question was filmed at an event during which Immanuel claimed to have successfully treated more than 350 patients with hydroxychloroquine. She’s also called studies disproving the drug’s effectiveness “fake science” and encouraged the public not to wear face masks. Masks have been proved to prevent infection.

Twitter has been cracking down on COVID-19 conspiracy theories, recently suspending Donald Trump Jr.’s tweeting privileges for 12 hours after he shared the same viral video of a group called America’s Frontline Doctors promoting hydroxychloroquine outside the Supreme Court building. The footage was removed by Facebook as well, according to the Washington Post.

Madonna has been vocal about public health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reportedly teaming up with world leaders in May to help raise $8 billion for vaccine research. She has also said she tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, suspecting that she came down with the respiratory illness while in Paris on her Madame X tour.

And in March, the “Like a Prayer” hitmaker posted a controversial video dubbing the coronavirus “the great equalizer,” while lounging in a lavish bathtub sprinkled with rose petals.

“That’s the thing about COVID-19,” she said in the video, which has since been deleted following a swift backlash. “It doesn’t care about how rich you are, how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell. …

“What’s terrible about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways — and what’s wonderful about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways.”