Twitter freezes Trump presidential campaign account for misinformation violation

It comes hours after Facebook removed same post alleging misinformation about Covid-19

Twitter has frozen the account of the Trump campaign for violating its misinformation rules after it posted a video in which the US president said children were “almost immune” to coronavirus. 

It cames just hours after Facebook removed the same post from US president Donald Trump’s personal account on the platform. Twitter said on Wednesday that the tweet from the @TeamTrump account, which showed a video of the president in a Fox News interview, was “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,” the spokesperson added.  

Facebook had taken action on the same post, saying the 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”. 

The company said it was the first time it had removed one of the president’s posts for breaching its coronavirus misinformation rules.

Democrats have welcomed the crackdown on the president’s social media posts but Republicans have accused Twitter of trying to censor conservative voices in an effort to help Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, in November’s presidential election. 

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In response to the ban, Courtney Parella, deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, said on Wednesday: “The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus. 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.”

Trump has come under repeated attack for misleading and inaccurate claims since the start of the pandemic, including his comment that people could protect themselves by ingesting disinfectant.

Last week, Twitter temporarily suspended Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, from tweeting for breaching misinformation rules after he shared a video in which politically affiliated doctors said shutdowns and masks were unnecessary and promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. The antimalarial drug has been labelled as risky by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

The White House has not disclosed any comment on the matter.

FURTHER READING: Twitter faces $250m FTC fine

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