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Facebook, Twitter Restrict Trump Accounts Over ‘Harmful’ COVID-19 Claim

Facebook and Twitter have penalised US President Donald Trump and his campaign for posts in which the president claimed children were “almost immune” to coronavirus.

Speaking by telephone to morning show Fox and Friends on Wednesday, Mr Trump argued it was time for all schools nationwide to reopen.

He said: “If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – almost immune from this disease.

“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.”

Facebook deleted the post – a clip from an interview Mr Trump gave to Fox News – saying it contained “harmful COVID misinformation”.

A Facebook spokesperson said on Wednesday evening: “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.”

It was the first time the social giant had taken action to remove content posted by the president based on its coronavirus-misinformation policy, but not the first time it has penalised Mr Trump over content on his page.

Later on Wednesday, Twitter said it had frozen the @TeamTrump account because it posted the same interview excerpt, which President Trump’s account shared.

A Twitter spokesman said the @TeamTrump tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation”.

“The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”

It later appeared to have been deleted.

Twitter last month temporarily suspended Mr Trump’s son, Donald Jr, for sharing a clip it said promoted “misinformation” about coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine.

But in March, Twitter said a tweet by entrepreneur Elon Musk suggesting children are “essentially immune” to coronavirus did not break its rules.

US public health advice makes clear children have no immunity to COVID-19.

BBC

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