Both Facebook and Twitter have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.
Facebook has removed a post by USA’s dear and supreme leader, president Donald Trump, for violations of its misinformation policy, the social media company confirmed today. The clip had apparently contained “harmful Covid misinformation”.
The action marks a rare instance in which the media company has been willing to censor the president.
The video clip posted on Trump’s account was of a Trump interview with Fox News’’ Fox & Friends program, in which the president claimed children are “almost immune” to Covid-19, a patently false statement.
The interview also included Trump saying Covid-19 “is going to go away,” and that his view is that “schools should open” because “ it will go away like things go away.”
The video clip posted on the President’s account “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 said.
This is the first time Facebook has pulled a Trump post for being dangerously incorrect. In June, a Trump post was removed for featuring a Nazi symbol of the inverted triangle, in violation of its policy against organised hate.
Facebook has been put under increasing pressure from rights groups and prominent political figures for allowing a sea of misinformation and lies to flood the site, fact-checking was almost non-existent up until recently.
"So, you won't take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that's just a pretty simple yes or no."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 23, 2019
But then again, conservative right-wing pundits believe social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook harbor a liberal bias and tend to disproportionately and unfairly censor conservatives. Whether this is actually true, is a matter of opinion since the view lacks evidence.
“The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” said Courtney Parella, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.
“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.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has attempted to stay away from this divisive area where depending on your political leanings, to do nothing would equal complicity to misinformation and to act would be akin to unfair censorship. Facebook has shown a reluctance to be the “arbiter of truth”.
The Facebook stance differs from Twitter where fact-checking and warning labels to the president’s tweets are commonplace, with political advertising on the site altogether banned.
An independent audit of Facebook’s policies published last month slammed the company for prioritizing free expression “over all other values.”
To add more insult to insult, Twitter piled on the Anti-Trump misinformation train by freezing a Trump campaign account until it removed a tweet of the Covid misinformation clip.
The platform said the video was “in violation of the Twitter Rules on Covid-19 misinformation.”
Studies conducted by experts at Children’s Hospital of Chicago found that children younger than five can carry the virus at levels FAR HIGHER than adults so immunity to the disease is very much out of the question. Some children have also died after contracting the infectious virus.
This is the first day of school in Paulding County, Georgia. pic.twitter.com/fzdidaAABM
— 🇯🇲Black🇭🇹Aziz🇳🇬aNANsi🇹🇹 (@Freeyourmindkid) August 4, 2020