- Twitter briefly blocked the Trump campaign’s account from tweeting Wednesday after it violated the company’s policies against COVID-19 misinformation, a company representative told Business Insider.
- The campaign tweeted a Fox News interview in which President Donald Trump falsely claimed children were “almost immune” to the disease.
- Trump himself also tweeted a link to the video, which has since been blocked, but the company did not take action against the president’s account.
- In an apparent first, Facebook took down a similar post by Trump earlier for violating its own COVID-19 misinformation policies.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump campaign’s account from tweeting Wednesday after it posted a video of the president spreading COVID-19 misinformation, a company representative told Business Insider.
The campaign tweeted a video, which has since been removed, of President Donald Trump giving a Fox News interview in which he falsely claimed children were “almost immune” to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“The Tweet you referenced is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation,” the representative said. “The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”
A growing body of research suggests that children can transmit COVID-19 like anyone else, though researchers believe their infection rates are often underreported because they are frequently asymptomatic and have been largely excluded from clinical trials.
“Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this president, where the rules are only enforced in one direction,” Courtney Parella, the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary, said in a statement. “Social-media companies are not the arbiters of truth.”
Trump also posted his own tweet linking to the campaign’s tweet containing the video, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times.
Twitter, however, said it would take any action against only the campaign’s account and not the president’s.
“Our enforcement action is specific to Tweets, not accounts that may have amplified it. The video was posted by @TeamTrump and shared via @realDonaldTrump, which is why we’re taking action on that account specifically,” a representative told Business Insider.
Facebook took down a similar post from Trump earlier Wednesday for violating its own policies against “harmful COVID misinformation,” apparently the first time the social-media giant has removed a post by Trump for spreading false information about the virus.
Pressure has mounted on social-media companies recently to take stronger steps to address the spread of misinformation on their platforms, particularly around the coronavirus pandemic, hate speech, and elections. Earlier this year, Twitter applied a fact-check label to Trump’s tweets falsely claiming mail-in voting caused widespread election fraud.
At the same time, Trump has become increasingly enraged at social-media platforms, particularly Twitter. In recent months, Trump has suggested that Twitter’s trending topics are “illegal” because they make him look bad, and he singled out the company in a legally dubious executive order seeking to crack down on platforms’ authority to moderate content on their platforms.
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