President Trump said to Axios̵
Facebook removed a post from President Trump’s personal page in a Fox News interview saying that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.
“This video contains false claims that a group of people are immune to COVID-19, which violates our guidelines regarding harmful COVID misinformation,” Facebook said in a statement.
It was the first time that Facebook removed a president’s post for violating its guidelines on COVID-19 misinformation.
Twitter also took action late Wednesday.
“The tweet you referenced violates the Twitter rules for COVID-19 misinformation. The account holder must remove the tweet before tweeting again,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY.
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Controversial: A video clip from an interview with Fox & Friends that aired Wednesday morning in which Trump said children should return to school because they are “almost immune” or “practically immune” to the disease.
Doctors say children can catch and pass on the coronavirus that has claimed more than 150,000 lives.
“The president said that children are less susceptible to the corona virus. A new day, a new expression of Silicon Valley’s apparent bias against this president, where the rules are enforced in one direction only, “said Courtney Parella, deputy national spokeswoman for Trump’s re-election campaign, in a statement:” Social media companies are not the arbiter of truth. “
When asked about his comments during the White House briefing on Wednesday, Trump said: “If you look at children, they can be thrown off very easily and it’s an amazing thing because some rivers they don’t have get very sick. You seem to be very good at it, and every statistic shows that. “
The Fox interview was viewed almost half a million times in the four hours before it was removed from Facebook. A link to Trump’s Facebook post now redirects to a page that says, “This content is not currently available.”
The breakdown occurs when Facebook takes action against false claims about the pandemic. Facebook has removed content shared by the president for violating other guidelines. In June, Facebook removed ads from Trump’s re-election campaign with a Nazi symbol. Facebook couldn’t tell how many times it removed Trump posts.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, welcomed the removal.
“Facebook has been too lenient towards Trump, especially when the lie affects public health and children. A stricter stance could have important consequences if the election season gets hot,” said Tobias. “I think Twitter’s action may be even more important as it seems to be Trump’s most popular form of communication. Having two big players in social media can encourage others to crack down on inaccurate information.”
Last week, Twitter took action against Trump and his son to promote false cures for COVID-19.
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Hypocrites COVID-19: Twitter removes President Donald Trump’s post announcing a false “cure” for COVID-19
Twitter, which earned Trump’s anger for reviewing his tweets, removed a post retweeted by the president in which a doctor announced without evidence that “there is a cure for coronavirus”.
Twitter also restricted Donald Trump Jr.’s account after removing a post in which doctors touted the alleged benefits of “hydroxychloroquine” in fighting the coronavirus. The President’s son was unable to tweet for 12 hours.
Facebook drew fire from left and right for processing Trump’s posts. The most controversial inside and outside of the company was CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave a post in which the president described the demonstrators as “thugs” and warned: “When the looting begins, the shootings begin.” On the other hand, Trump and his followers have repeatedly claimed censorship for anti-conservative bias.
The pressure on Facebook to moderate content more strictly on its platforms has increased in recent weeks. More than 1,000 advertisers joined a boycott in July organized by civil rights groups for spreading hate speech and misinformation. On Wednesday, nearly two dozen attorneys general sent a letter criticizing Facebook’s use of content.
Rep. David Cicilline (DR.I.), chairman of the House’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, confronted Zuckerberg last week with the spread of misinformation on the platform. During a hearing about the power and size of the big technology companies, Cicilline found that removing a video took so long that it raised 20 million on Facebook in five hours.
“Doesn’t that mean your platform is so big that, even with the right guidelines, you can’t contain deadly content?” Asked Cicilline. Zuckerberg replied that Facebook has a “good track record” in monitoring misinformation.
Last month, Facebook Facts About Covid-19, a section of the COVID Information Center, launched to uncover common myths about the pandemic. Zuckerberg also has Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease official, interviewed in live streams on the Facebook platform.
Featuring: David Jackson
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