Twitter and Facebook restrict Trump accounts over ‘harmful’ virus claim

Twitter and Facebook restrict Trump accounts over 'harmful' virus claim
A clip from President Trump's Fox News interview was posted to his Facebook page
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: Twitter and Facebook have penalised President Donald Trump and his campaign for posts in which the president claimed children were “almost immune” to coronavirus.

Facebook deleted the post of Mr Trump – a clip from an interview he gave to Fox News – saying it contained “harmful Covid misinformation”.

Twitter also said it had frozen a Trump campaign account until a tweet of the same clip was removed.

US public health advice makes clear children have no immunity to Covid-19.

What did Facebook and Twitter say?

On Wednesday evening, Facebook spokesperson said: “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.”

This was the first time Facebook had taken action to remove content posted by the president based on its coronavirus-misinformation policy, but not the first time the social media giant has penalised Mr Trump over content on his page.

Twitter said later on Wednesday that it had frozen the @TeamTrump account because it posted the same interview excerpt, which President Trump’s account shared.

The @TeamTrump tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation”, a Twitter spokesman said.

“The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”

The tweet later appeared to have been deleted.

Last month, Twitter temporarily suspended Donald Jr, Mr Trump’s son, for sharing a clip it said promoted “misinformation” about coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine.

But in March, Twitter said a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggesting children are “essentially immune” to coronavirus did not break its rules.

What did Trump say in his TV interview?

On Wednesday, while speaking by telephone to morning show Fox and Friends, Mr Trump argued it was time for all schools nationwide to reopen.

He said: “If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – almost immune from this disease.

“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,” the President said, who is running for re-election in November.

“And they don’t have a problem, they just don’t have a problem.”

“This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away,” Mr Trump also said of coronavirus.

You may read: Trump’s interview debacle sends a warning to his reelection campaign