Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are pushing back against false claims made by the Trump campaign on Wednesday. The accounts, used to support the impeached president’s reelection efforts, were temporarily suspended for posting a video that violated the platforms’ policies on misinformation.
The video that triggered the response from Facebook and Twitter involved an interview Trump gave with Fox & Friends regarding the spread of COVID-19. During the conversation, Trump falsely claims that children are “almost immune” to the potentially fatal virus.
A Twitter spokesperson told multiple outlets that the tweet containing the video “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation.” In keeping with their guidelines, the account owner was directed to remove the tweet before they could use the platform again.
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Twitter has been cracking down on the spread of misinformation on their widely used platform, and have actively extended penalties to the accounts associated with the nation’s leader. Twitter’s policy includes limiting tweet visibility if it contains content that is in violation. Once it determines that a tweet has violated its rules, it requires that the violator remove it before they can Tweet again.
In the interview, Trump clearly said, “If you look at children, children are almost ― and I would almost say definitely ― almost immune from this disease.” The push comes as he attempts to convince the country that schools are safe for children to return to. The statement is false. Children have died from the coronavirus and they are able to transmit it to others.
Before Twitter notified the Trump Campaign about its violation, Facebook pulled the same video that was posted to the site, stating that it also violated its policies.
The Trump campaign is taking no accountability for the spread of misinformation. Instead, Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella told HuffPost in a statement: “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 was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus.”
The campaign’s Twitter account appears to be restored.