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Facebook removes Trump's campaign video claiming children are immune to coronavirus

Yasmin Ahmed     August 6, 2020

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday made a campaign statement that was deemed harmful and flagged by Twitter and Facebook. Trump in an interview with Fox and Friends said it was time for children in the US to get back to schools and that they were immune to coronavirus.

"If you look at children, children are almost - and I would almost say definitely - 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."

While Facebook deleted the post saying that it contained harmful COVID-19 misinformation, Twitter said it had frozen a campaign account till the clip was removed.

"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," a Facebook spokesperson said.

Twitter said it had frozen the @TeamTrump account because it posted the same interview excerpt, which President Trump's account shared. As per Twitter, the tweet violated the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation.

"The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again," a Twitter spokesperson said. The campaign account has removed the said video and is active on Twitter again.

This was the first time that Facebook removed a Trump video because of coronavirus misinformation policy. Facebook has received criticism for not taking action against hate speech as compared to Twitter who is known for flagging misleading content from the US President's account.

Previously, Facebook has removed campaign ads that used a Nazi symbol. Facebook also removed a post about a racist baby after the parent of the child complaint against copyright issues.

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign, Courtney Parella, in response to the Facebook removal said, "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."

Last Month, Trump's eldest son, Trump Jr was temporarily restricted from tweeting anything on Twitter shortly after posting a video that Twitter flagged as harmful. The viral video showed a group of people including Stella Immanuel who says she is a doctor from Houston, claiming Hydoxychloroquine to be the coronavirus cure. She claimed to have put 350 people on hydroxychloroquine. "Not one of us has got sick. Nobody needs to die. There is a cure for COVID," Immanuel says in the clip.

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