Facebook deletes Trump’s post for violating coronavirus misinformation rules
Facebook and Twitter restrict President Trump’s accounts over misleading information about coronavirus.
Facebook took down Trump’s video in which he claims children are less vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Liz Bourgeois, a spokesperson for Facebook, told Fox News:
“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.”
Image credits: Fox News
In the now-removed video, the President of the United States tells Fox & Friends that he believes schools should remain open this fall, claiming that the virus “doesn’t have an impact” on children.
“My view is that schools should be open. If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease.”
This was the first time Facebook has taken down a post from the president regarding COVID-19 misinformation.
The same video was also shared by the Trump campaign’s Twitter account and retweeted by the president himself. Twitter took action and blocked the misleading post. A spokesperson for the social media service said the clip was “in violation of the Twitter rules on COVID-19 misinformation”.
Responding to the backlash, Trump campaign spokesperson Courtney Parella said in a statement:
“The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus. 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.”
According to a review made by the Kaiser Family Foundation, there is “clearly a risk of further spread” concerning the reopening of schools.
While most countries that reopened classrooms have not had widespread outbreaks, almost all had much lower rates of community spread than the U.S.
Outbreaks in some countries required a second round of school closures.
— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) August 5, 2020
Furthermore, the National Academies of Medicine stated that compared with adults, children exposed to COVID-19 are “more likely to experience asymptomatic infection or mild upper respiratory symptoms”.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) reveals that a little over 7% or more than 200,000 of the reported COVID-19 cases are of children under the age of 18.
Image credits: CDC
In April, Facebook created specific rules regarding coronavirus misinformation. In a bid to limit COVID-19 misinformation, Facebook declares:
“As this pandemic evolves, we’ll continue focusing on the most effective ways to keep misinformation and dangerous hoaxes about COVID-19 off our apps and ensure people have credible information from health experts to stay safe and informed.”
Although President Trump has repeatedly tested the network’s policy with questionable posts and statements, his claim that children are “virtually immune” to the disease was the first to result in removing a post made by the president.