Facebook and Twitter Crack Down on Trump Accounts Over 'Harmful' COVID-19 Claim
The social networks pulled the same clip of the president suggesting children are "almost immune" to novel coronavirus.
Facebook and Twitter have removed posts featuring Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News claiming children are "almost immune" to novel coronavirus.
"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," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement emailed to PCMag. There is no trace of the original clip on Trump's personal page, which also fails to acknowledge the expunged content; posting an explanation of its removal, the company told Mashable, is "not Facebook's policy." All that remains are two excerpts about mail-in voting from the same Fox interview.
The same message was also broadcast to the @TeamTrump Twitter account (and, of course, retweeted by Trump); the administration's campaign feed shared a number of Fox News clips — covering everything from the U.S. economy to 2020 presidential debates to Black Lives Matter — including the now-deleted tweet.
"The @TeamTrump tweet you referenced is in violation of the Twitter rules on COVID-19 misinformation," a company spokesperson told PCMag in an email. "The account owner will be required to remove the tweet before they can tweet again." Which they've done, as evidenced by an official notice buried between Fox News videos.
Unlike Facebook, which has long refused to rein in Trump's controversial posts, Twitter is slapping the president and his cohorts with warning labels left and right. Most recently, the microblogging platform temporarily blocked Donald Trump Jr.'s account after he posted a video claiming the drug hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19 and that masks are ineffective.
Facebook and Twitter aren't the only social networks standing up to the president. In June, Snapchat stopped publicizing Trump's content, saying the messaging service does "not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover." Less than a month later, Twitch briefly suspended his account, citing two videos that directly defy regulations, while Reddit shut down its The_Donald subreddit due to three separate rule violations.