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Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Facebook removes post by President Trump for COVID-19 misinformation

Facebook removes post by President Trump for COVID-19 misinformation

Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely claimed that children are 'almost immune; from the disease.

Facebook REMOVES post by President Trump after he falsely claimed children are 'almost immune' to coronavirus - as Twitter suspends his campaign account for sharing same 'misleading' statement

* Trump had uploaded a video to Facebook of an interview with Fox New in which he falsely stated that children are ‘almost immune' from COVID-19
* ‘They have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ Trump said in the video, which the account for his presidential campaign also tweeted
* Facebook said the president's post was removed for violating the social media platform's 'policies around harmful COVID misinformation'
* The move was followed by Twitter short while after, who announced they have ordered Trump's campaign account to remove a post featuring the same video
* Twitter said the account will be banned from tweeting until the post is removed

For the first time, Facebook has taken down a post from Donald Trump’s personal page on Wednesday for making false claims about the coronavirus.

Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely stated that children are ‘almost immune' from COVID-19.

‘They have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ Trump said in the video, which the official account for his presidential campaign also tweeted.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president's post was removed for violating the social media platform's 'policies around harmful COVID misinformation.'

Twitter followed suit a short while after, ordering Trump's campaign account, @TeamTrump, to remove its 'misleading' post featuring the same video and banning it from tweeting again until it agreed to do so.


Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely claimed that children are ‘almost immune' from the disease.



‘They have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ Trump said in the video, which he also tweeted



A link to Trump's Facebook post now diverts to a page that says, 'This Content isn't Available Right Now.'


Twitter said the Team Trump post was 'in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.'

The Trump campaign account was active again late Wednesday after removing the post. Trump’s personal account also retweeted the video but it was removed after the original post was taken down.

In the video in question, Trump was heard speaking in a phone interview with Fox News in which he argued schools across the nation should be re-opening.

'If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,' Trump said.

'So few, they've got stronger, hard to believe, I don't know how you feel about it, but they've got much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this.

'And they don't have a problem, they just don't have a problem,' he added.

While children are less vulnerable, they can contract and transmit the disease to others and some have even died from it. Researchers believe infection rates among children are often under-reported because they are frequently asymptomatic and have been largely excluded from clinical trials.

A link to Trump's Facebook post now diverts to a page that says, 'This Content isn't Available Right Now.'

In response to the removal, the Trump campaign has accused Facebook of exhibiting a 'flagrant bias'.

'The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,' Trump's deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella said in an emailed statement.

'Another day, another display of Silicon Valley's flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.'

A spokesperson for Trump's campaign also leveled similar accusations of bias against Twitter.

'The Twitter employee who announced why the account was briefly suspended is also Kamala Harris’s former press secretary. Silicon Valley is hopelessly biased against the President,' the spokesperson said, according to Breaking911.



The move was followed by Twitter short while after, who announced they have ordered Trump's campaign account to remove a post featuring the same video, banning it from tweeting again until it does so



In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president's post was removed for violating the social media platform's 'policies around harmful COVID misinformation'




The action comes as the first time Facebook has removed a Trump post for COVID-19 misinformation, and marks a rare instance in which the company has been willing to censor the president.

Facebook has previously applied fact-check labels to Trump's misleading posts about various subjects, including mail-in voting.

In June, the social media giant took down a series of Trump campaign ads that featured a symbol Nazis used to classify political prisoners during World War II.

Facebook has been fiercely scrutinized on both sides of the partisan divide for its handling of Trump's post.

The Mark Zuckerberg-owned company's refusal to take action on posts in which the president appeared to call for violence against Black Lives Matter protesters sparked outrage among democrats, and helped to inspire the #StopHateForProfit boycott campaign that saw over a thousand companies cease advertising on the site.

Amid the fallout, Zuckerberg said in late June that Facebook will now remove posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting — even from political leaders — and that the company will affix labels on posts that violate hate speech or other policies.

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