WebMD News Brief

Trump Misinformation Posts Pulled By Social Media

donald trump

August 7, 2020 -- Facebook, Twitter and YouTube removed posts by President Donald Trump on Wednesday that violated their rules against sharing incorrect information about the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

The Facebook post featured a video clip from a Fox & Friends interview where Trump said children were “almost immune” to COVID-19.

“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 told Reuters.

Recent studies have demonstrated that kids of all ages can contract the virus, and some children have been hospitalized and died, according to an analysis by Kaiser Family Foundation.

The CDC has also said that, although most confirmed coronavirus cases are among adults, some children and infants have tested positive, and they can transmit the virus to others. About 7%, or more than 250,000 cases, have occurred in children under age 18, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker.

The CDC recommends social distancing, face masks for children over age 2 and frequent handwashing, as well as limited in-person playdates.

“An important guiding principle to remember is that the more people children interact with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” according to the CDC.

A Twitter post with the same video was also hidden on Wednesday for violating misinformation rules, and the account was blocked. The Trump campaign had posted it on the @TeamTrump account, and Trump retweeted it. To unblock the account, the owner must remove the post before the account can be used again, a Twitter spokesperson told Reuters. The account began posting again on Wednesday evening, according to The Verge.

YouTube also removed a post with the video. The original interview is still available on the Fox News page as of Thursday morning.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Trump repeated his claim that the virus doesn’t affect children.

“Children handle it very well. They may get it, but they get it, and it doesn’t have much of an impact on them,” he said. “If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatality ... under a certain age ... their immune systems are very, very strong and very powerful. They seem to be able to handle it very well and that’s according to every statistic.”

This is the first time that Facebook has removed one of Trump’s posts for coronavirus misinformation, the company’s spokesman told Reuters. Twitter has removed a retweet from Trump that linked to a misleading viral video about the virus but has also allowed other posts with misinformation.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 07, 2020

Sources

Reuters, “Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pull Trump posts over coronavirus misinformation.”

Kaiser Family Foundation, “What Do We Know About Children and Coronavirus Transmission?”

CDC, “Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children.”

CDC, “COVID Data Tracker.”

The Verge, “Twitter blocked Trump campaign account from tweeting over COVID-19 misinformation.”

C-SPAN, “President Trump Holds Coronavirus News Conference, August 5, 2020.”

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