Twitter, Facebook censor Trump accounts over coronavirus misinformation
The president also defended his comments in a press conference, softening his stance by saying that 'children handle it very well'
Facebook censored a video post on the personal page of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The video included a clip of an interview where Trump claimed that children should return to school because they are “almost immune” or “virtually immune” to coronavirus.
In the video, the president says via a phone interview, “If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,” and that they have stronger immune systems.
More than 350,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus, and while they are less likely to perish, they do transmit the disease.
“This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook policy spokesperson.
Facebook and Twitter have been aggressive in removing posts that may share misinformation related to the virus which has killed 150,000 Americans.
Yesterday’s action marked the first time that Facebook has removed a Trump post related to the virus. The social media giant has come under scrutiny for failing to censor the president.
The campaign fired back with harsh words saying, “The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” Courtney Parella, the campaign’s deputy national press secretary, said in an emailed statement to NBC News.
“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.”
The president also defended his comments in a press conference, softening his stance by saying that “children handle it very well.”
Twitter removed the video from its platform on Wednesday night as well, after it was tweeted by the president’s reelection campaign. Further, it suspended the account from tweeting until the video was deleted.
Twitter spokeswoman Liz Kelley said the tweet “is 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.”
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