Facebook REMOVES post by President Trump for violating company’s ‘harmful COVID-19 misinformation’ policy after he falsely claimed children are ‘almost immune’ to coronavirus
For the first time, Facebook took down a video post from Donald Trump’s personal page on Wednesday for making false claims about the coronavirus.
Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely stated that children are ‘almost immune’ from the disease.
‘They have much stronger immune system than [adults],’ Trump said in the video, which he also tweeted.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president’s post was removed for violating the social media platform’s ‘policies around harmful COVID misinformation.’
Trump had uploaded a video of an interview he gave to Fox News earlier Wednesday, in which he falsely claimed that children are ‘almost immune’ from the disease.
In the removed video, Trump was heard speaking in a phone interview with Fox News in which he argued schools across the nation should be re-opening.
‘If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease,’ Trump said.
‘So few, they’ve got stronger, hard to believe, I don’t know how you feel about it, but they’ve got much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this.
‘And they don’t have a problem, they just don’t have a problem,’ he added.
While children are less vulnerable, they can contract and transmit the disease to others and some have even died from it. Researchers believe infection rates among children are often under-reported because they are frequently asymptomatic and have been largely excluded from clinical trials.
A link to Trump’s post now diverts to a page that says, ‘This Content isn’t Available Right Now.’
In response to the removal, the Trump campaign has accused Facebook of exhibiting a ‘flagrant bias’.
‘The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,’ Trump’s deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella said in an emailed 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.’
In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said the president’s post was removed for violating the social media platform’s ‘policies around harmful COVID misinformation’
The action comes as the first time Facebook has removed a Trump post for COVID-19 misinformation, and marks a rare instance in which the company has been willing to censor the president.
Facebook has previously applied fact-check labels to Trump’s misleading posts about various subjects, including mail-in voting.
In June, the social media giant took down a series of Trump campaign ads that featured a symbol Nazis used to classify political prisoners during World War II.
Facebook has been fiercely scrutinized on both sides of the partisan divide for its handling of Trump’s post.
The Mark Zuckerberg-owned company’s refusal to take action on posts in which the president appeared to call for violence against Black Lives Matter protesters sparked outrage among democrats, and helped to inspire the #StopHateForProfit boycott campaign that saw over a thousand companies cease advertising on the site.
Zuckerberg said in late June that Facebook will now remove posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting — even from political leaders — and that the company will affix labels on posts that violate hate speech or other policies.
This is a developing story