Madonna's post on COVID-19 vaccine blocked by Instagram over misinformation

Superstar singer Madonna has been censored on Instagram for spreading false information about a supposed cure for COVID-19 after she shared clips from a video also re-tweeted by Donald Trump.

In her post to 15.4 million followers, the 61-year-old claimed that a proven vaccine had been available for months but it was being kept secret "to let the rich get richer and the poor and sick get sicker."

She attached a video of US physician Stella Immanuel who praised hydroxychloroquine as a miracle coronavirus cure.

Various clips of Immanuel's speech have spread rapidly on the Internet in recent days, but hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, has not been proved effective against COVID-19.

"We've removed this video for making false claims about cures and prevention methods for COVID-19," a company spokeswoman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told AFP on Wednesday.

"People who reacted to, commented on, or shared this video, will see messages directing them to authoritative information about the virus."

Madonna's post was deleted, but screengrabs showed it had earlier been blurred by Instagram and tagged "False Information -- reviewed by independent fact-checkers" with a link to a page debunking the video.

Madonna said in May that she caught the novel coronavirus in France towards the end of her famous tour Madam Xtour, adding that she was no longer sick.

"I'm grateful that I can be a part of supporting research to find the cure for Covid-19! And just to clear things up for people who would rather believe sensationalist headlines than do their research about the nature of this virus, I am not currently sick," she said.

Madonna said that she was sick at the end of her tour in Paris.

She added: "When you test positive for anti-bodies it means you HAD the virus which I clearly did as I was sick at the end of my tour in Paris over seven weeks ago along with many other artists in my show, but at the time we all thought we had a very bad flu. Thank God we are all healthy and well now. Hope that clears things up for the band wagon jumpers!! Knowledge is power!"

Madonna was bombarded with health issues and injuries on her last tour, and had to cancel and postpone a series of dates.

With inputs from Agencies

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