(Reuters) — Facebook on Wednesday took down a put up by U.S. President Donald Trump, which the corporate mentioned violated its guidelines in opposition to sharing misinformation concerning the coronavirus.
The put up contained a video clip from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier within the day, by which Trump claimed that kids are “almost immune” to COVID-19.
“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 mentioned.
A tweet containing the video that was posted by the Trump marketing campaign’s @StaffTrump account and shared by the president was additionally later hidden by Twitter for breaking its COVID-19 misinformation guidelines. A Twitter spokesperson mentioned the @StaffTrump account proprietor could be required to take away the tweet earlier than they might tweet once more.
YouTube, by way of a spokesperson, mentioned it had additionally pulled down the video for violating its COVID-19 misinformation insurance policies. However, the unique interview stays out there on the Fox News web page on the platform. YouTube didn’t instantly reply to requests to make clear which movies had been taken down.
The Trump marketing campaign accused the businesses of bias in opposition to the president, saying Trump had acknowledged a reality. “Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth,” mentioned Courtney Parella, a spokesperson with the marketing campaign.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has mentioned that whereas adults make up a lot of the identified COVID-19 circumstances thus far, some kids and infants have been sick with the illness they usually may also transmit it to others. An evaluation by the World Health Organization of 6 million infections between February 24 and July 12 discovered that the share of contaminated kids aged 5-14 years was about 4.6%.
The White House didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. During a briefing on the White House, Trump repeated his declare that the virus had little affect on kids.
“Children handle it very well,” he instructed reporters. “If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatalities … for children under a certain age … their immune systems are very, very strong and very powerful. They seem to be able to handle it very well, and that’s according to every statistical claim.”
It was the primary time Facebook had eliminated a Trump put up for coronavirus misinformation, the corporate’s spokesperson mentioned. It additionally gave the impression to be the primary reported occasion of the social media firm taking down a put up from the president for breaching its misinformation guidelines.
Twitter has taken down a put up retweeted by Trump pointing to a deceptive viral video concerning the coronavirus however left up clips of the president suggesting scientists ought to examine utilizing gentle or disinfectant on sufferers. Twitter mentioned these remarks expressed a want for remedy, somewhat than a literal name for motion. It additionally left up a March put up from Tesla’s outspoken CEO Elon Musk stating that “kids are essentially immune” to the virus.
Facebook has taken warmth from lawmakers and its personal workers in latest months for not taking motion on inflammatory posts by Trump.
The firm has beforehand eliminated adverts from Trump’s election marketing campaign for breaking misinformation guidelines, in that case round a nationwide census. It additionally took down each Trump posts and marketing campaign adverts that confirmed a purple inverted triangle, an emblem the Nazis used to determine political prisoners, for violating its coverage in opposition to organized hate.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England. Additional reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Alexandra Alper in Washington, D.C.; and Katie Paul in San Francisco. Editing by Richard Pullin, Christopher Cushing, and Fanny Potkin.)