- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2020

Facebook on Friday closed British conspiracy theorist David Icke’s page after receiving complaints about him spreading misinformation involving the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a message shared by Mr. Icke that it unpublished his official Facebook page for violating its policy on “health misinformation that could cause physical harm.”

“We have removed this Page for repeatedly violating our policies on harmful misinformation,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Washington Times later Friday.

Facebook did not immediately cite any specific examples to explain the social media company’s decision.

But the disappearance of Mr. Icke’s page — which more than 700,000 fellow Facebook users followed as of last month — came as several internet companies faced calls to close his accounts for amplifying bogus information about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Activists with a group called the Center for Countering Digital Hate released an open letter Friday asking big tech firms to “deplatform” Mr. Icke, citing his use of their services to spread conspiracy theories and medical misinformation about the coronavirus and COVID-19, the potentially deadly disease it causes.

“The potentially harmful claims he has made include denying the existence of Covid-19; linking the current crisis to 5G mobile technology; suggesting that Jewish cultists are behind the crisis; that viruses cannot be transmitted through direct physical contact or intermediary objects; and that people with healthy immune systems are safe from contracting the virus,” the letter said.

Internet videos of Mr. Icke making bogus claims about COVID-19 have been viewed a total of more than 30 million times, according to the letter, whose co-signers include Damian Collins, a member of U.K. Parliament and the former British culture secretary.

Mr. Icke, 68, is a former sportscaster who subsequently gained notoriety for peddling conspiracy theories during the last several decades, such as the notion that shape-shifting reptilians are running the world, among others.

He reacted to having his Facebook page unpublished by equating it to fascism.

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